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Business briefs

17 Sep 2007

Featuring news from LightWorks Optics, VueMetrix, Konarka, Luxtera, Polatis, JDSU and others.

LightWorks Optics, a US manufacturer of optical systems and components, has been awarded a $2.8 million contract for high-precision optical assemblies from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Florida. The new order is in addition to two other contracts for Arrowhead, the company's electro-optical fire control system for helicopters, and brings LightWorks' total of recent awards to $5.4 million.

VueMetrix laser diode controllers and subsystems will be distributed in the UK by Laser Lines, following an agreement between the companies. Steve Knight will serve as the local contact for product information, sales and service. Laser Lines already distribute a range of laser-related products to medical and industrial markets.

Konarka Technologies and Toppan Forms have signed a joint agreement to accelerate the development, manufacture and market penetration of polymer-based organic photovoltaic technologies for consumer and electronic applications. The mutual goal is to bring Konarka's organic photovoltaic material, Power Plastic, to market. Toppan's printable electronics and digital information expertise will accelerate commercialization according to Konarka.

• More than 2000 tunable chromatic dispersion compensation modules have been supplied by TeraXion to telecom, defense and aerospace markets, according to the company. Recent announcements of significant deployments of 40 Gbit/s systems by major carriers in the US such as AT&T and Verizon are said to be strong drivers for the demand of tunable chromatic dispersion compensators.

Luxtera is leading the formation of the Silicon Photonics Alliance, the first formal Community of Interest within the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA). Members of this Community will participate in forums, work to identify key application areas and promote silicon photonics within the optical standards bodies to assure interoperability among vendors. Luxtera's Tom Palkert has been selected to head the group. Other member companies include Corning, Kotura, Molex, and US Conec.

• The OIDA's annual survey of the optoelectronics market reports that revenues reached $565 billion in 2006, a 14.5% increase over 2005. Strong and steady growth is predicted over the next decade, with revenues expected to pass $1.2 trillion by 2017. The biggest growth driver will be LCD displays in a variety of consumer-based products such as TVs, mobile phones and digital assistants, according to the report.

• Shipments of active matrix organic LEDs (AMOLEDs) grew by 4% quarter-on-quarter and 24% year-on-year, reaching 19.8 million units in Q2 2007, according to a market report. Main display shipments rose 16% over the previous 12 months, sub-displays by 77%, car audio displays by 35% and industrial displays by 295%. Over the next year, revenues are predicted to grow by 117% due to the introduction of AMOLED displays for mobile phone main displays and digital cameras, plus the added number of suppliers including TPO, LG.Philips LCD and Casio. The Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report is available from DisplaySearch.

• A camera deployed on the Phoenix Mars Lander has sent back its first picture. The Robotic Arm Camera took an image of the Robotic Arm scoop using its red LED lamp. Human eyes see this image only in shades of gray, so the picture was enhanced in false color to better represent what the camera sees. Images from the Robotic Arm Camera will be the only pictures taken and returned to Earth until Phoenix approaches and lands on Mars in May 2008.

Firstsight Vision will distribute Opgal Optronic Industries' thermal imaging and camera products to the industrial, security and defense markets in the UK, part of a wider European agreement with the Stemmer Imaging Group. Opgal sensors employ Israeli and European technology and so avoid delays associated with US export licenses, according to the company.

People

• Three senior executives have been appointed by Polatis to join its sales force. Stuart Santoro joins as director of telco sales, North America, driving sales of the company's compact latching switch and other fiber switching products. Sean Gordon joins as director of sales, video/broadcast worldwide, and Philip Benguhe has been named director of sales, defense and federal sector.

• Keith Lambert has been named senior vice president of optical communications operations by JDSU. He will focus on improving gross margins for the company by addressing lean manufacturing, cost leadership and operational excellence for the group, and will report to David Gudmundson.

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