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Business briefs

08 Feb 2008

Featuring news from JDSU, Corning, Tessera, Flir, Pirelli and more.

JDSU reported net income of $21.2 million for Q2 of fiscal 2008, a recovery from the loss of $6.9 million posted in the previous quarter. Net revenues also rose from $356 million to $399 million over the same period. The commercial lasers business contributed revenues of $22.2 million, up 11.6% from the previous quarter, and represented 6% of the company's total fiscal Q2 net revenue. Improvement of the company's business model would continue, according to a statement.

Corning will spend $453 million to further expand its liquid crystal display glass substrate manufacturing facility in Taichung, Taiwan. This will be the fourth phase of expansion for the facility which opened in 2006, and will increase capacity for a range of large substrates including Gen 8 panels. The expenditure will be incurred over the next two years, with mass production scheduled to begin by the first quarter of 2009.

Tessera announced revenues of $53 million for the fourth quarter and $195.7 million for the full year, a fall of 6% from the previous year. Despite this reduction the company's consumer optics business was described as flourishing, with the recent signing of new licensees Toshiba and Nemotek. The company also announced the acquisition of FotoNation, a developer of embedded solutions to improve image quality and simplify picture taking for digital still cameras and mobile devices. Tessera's intention is to offer a "smart optics" portfolio, a range of camera imaging technologies on a single platform, and the company claims to be well positioned for growth in this sector.

SCHOTT Solar and ersol Thin Film have entered into a cooperative agreement to jointly develop micromorphous technology for thin-film solar cells. In contrast to amorphous thin-film modules, micromorphous thin-film modules have a double-layer structure consisting of an amorphous and a microcrystalline silicon film, an arrangement said to improve exploitation of sunlight and to increase module efficiency by up to 50%. The two companies aim to achieve faster product maturity and hence a leading market position in micromorphous solar modules, according to a joint statement.

• Profits of $46.6 million in the fourth quarter helped Flir towards full-year profits of $136.7 million, up 36% on the previous year. Revenues for the year rose by a similar percentage to $779 million, with increases across all the company's served markets. Flir's stated strategy of building demand through lower cost infrared thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems technology was succeeding and will continue, according to the company.

Vytran, a producer of glass processing products for the fabrication of fibre laser components and systems, has been fully acquired by NKT, a Danish industrial group that was previously a minority shareholder. Vytran will become part of the NKT Photonics Group of companies which already includes Koheras, Crystal Fibre and LIOS Technology. The move was said by NKT to be a key part of the overall expansion of its photonics business. Following the acquisition, Bonni Kryger will become the new CEO of Vytran and Eric Mies will continue as CTO.

• The Pirelli Group will integrate the photonics work of its broadband solutions business with the photonics-related research and development activities of the optical innovation division of Pirelli Labs, to form a new photonics company. The intention is to consolidate the company's position in both photonics and broadband access and take advantage of international alliances, according to a statement. Both the new photonics company and Pirelli Broadband Solutions will continue to collaborate with researchers in the materials innovation division at Pirelli Labs, which conducts research for the tyre, environmental and real estate businesses of the Pirelli Group.

People

• Michael Cyros, president of Allied Vision Technologies, has been elected 2008 President of the Automated Imaging Association (AIA). He succeeds John Merva, who remains on the board. Cyros will also serve on the Automation Technologies Council Board, the umbrella organization that governs the AIA, the Robotic Industries Association and the Motion Control Association.

Optical Research Associates has appointed Stuart David as director of sales for its software business. David joined ORA in 1995 and became Sales Manager in 2000.

ALIO IndustriesSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupEKSMA OpticsPhotonics NorthDIAMOND SADiverse Optics Inc.AUREA TECHNOLOGY
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