23 Jul 2007
Featuring news from Trumpf, Osram, Tessera, Cambridge Display Technology, Corning, Gooch and Housego, and others.
• Trumpf announced results for fiscal year 2006/07 that reflected the strong world economy and high demand for the company's production tools and equipment. Sales grew by 18% to €1.94 billion ($2.7 billion), and orders received increased by 16% to €2.05 billion ($2.8 billion). All five business fields contributed to the company's growth. The strongest gains came from Eastern Europe and Germany, although Western Europe and Asia were also said to have shown a considerable upswing. The company previously announced that it will be expanding its corporate headquarters in Ditzingen, Germany, by 2009.
• Osram's Opto Semiconductors subsidiary has signed a license agreement with Citizen Electronics, Japan. The agreement covers the use of Osram intellectual property developments in Citizen's white LED products, and puts an end to the disputes between the two companies that have been running since 2005.
Osram has also announced the expansion of production capacity at its factory in Penang, Malaysia, and the simultaneous expansion of the LED chip fabrication plant in Regensburg, Germany. When completed in 2009, the Malaysia facility will employ more than 3000 people, which is said to make Osram one of the largest employers in the region.
• Tessera Technologies has licensed Alps Electric to mass produce and sell wafer-level optics based on Tessera's OptiML wafer level camera (WLC) technology. The agreement allows manufacturers of image sensors and camera modules to purchase singulated lens stacks produced in high volume from Alps Electric. OptiML WaferStack lenses are expected to be available in the second half of 2008. See previous coverage of OptiML technology on optics.org.
• A consortium led by Cambridge Display Technology, the UK developer of polymer light emitting diode (P-OLED) technology, has been awarded a 2006 Fast Track grant to extend the use of electronic design software to organic semiconductor materials, and accelerate the development of low-cost fabrication techniques for organic displays on both flexible and rigid substrates. The company claims that this not only marks the entry of CDT into the organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) space, but will also be important in the development of flexible displays based on plastic substrates. The grant, for approximately £250,000 ($500,000), has been awarded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry's Technology Program.
• Corning will expand its optical fiber manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, to meet continued growth in the China optical fiber market. The expansion will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in 2009. The company stated that the optical fiber market in China is expected to more than double in annual volume during this decade, driven by the widespread deployment of high-speed, broadband optical communications networks.
• Photonic Products, the UK optoelectronics and laser-diode manufacturer, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Laser 2000, who will distribute and represent the Photonic Products' portfolio in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein. Laser 2000 will also provide technical support to customers in industry and research. The deal was said to result from the strong regional market for laser-diode modules and assemblies.
• A key trial of the Airborne Laser (ABL) technology being developed by a group led by Boeing has demonstrated the weapon system's capabilities. A modified Boeing 747-400F used infrared sensors and a track illuminator laser to follow a target on the US Air Force's Big Crow test aircraft. The Big Crow then fired its beacon laser at the ABL aircraft to allow ABL to measure and compensate for laser-beam distortion caused by the atmosphere. Finally, ABL fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the Big Crow target board to simulate a missile shoot down. The first intercept test against an in-flight ballistic missile is now scheduled for 2009.
• Trumpf has announced changes to its board, including the appointment of two additional directors. Gerhard Rübling, managing director of personnel and services in the Machine Tool business division, was appointed labor director, and is responsible for the Services division group-wide. Friedrich Kilian, currently managing director of development in the Machine Tool business division, has assumed additional responsibility for central purchasing for the Trumpf Group. The company also announced that Martin Benzinger, managing director of Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik, has retired.
• Gooch and Housego, the manufacturer of optoelectronic components, materials, instruments and systems has appointed a new director of sales. Paul Morris joins the company from Bookham, and will lead the development of a new co-ordinated global sales team and more customer-focussed sales strategy for the company's five complementary subsidiaries, soon to be re-launched as a single integrated business.
• Motohiko Tahara has been appointed president of Cymer Asia Pacific. He will be responsible for expanding Cymer's markets for their excimer laser sources across all the company's Asian markets. Tahara joins from Ultratech, but previously served as president of Cymer Japan for three years.