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Business briefs

07 Mar 2008

Featuring news from Micron Technology, Global Industry Analysts, Sony, Koheras, Agilent, Mobius Photonics and more.

Micron Technology has created a separate division and new identity for its CMOS imaging business, intended to strengthen its image sensor business and leverage Micron's strengths in CMOS manufacturing. Aptina Imaging will operate as an independent division of Micron and benefit from increased manufacturing flexibility and cost control benefits, according to the company. Aptina has announced a 1.4 µm pixel and a prototype 1.2 µm pixel sensor, along with a new approach to designing cameras for mobile handsets by incorporating the image sensor, optics and processing in a single package.

• Demand for optical fibre is primarily being driven by increased demand for broadband Internet connections in North America and China, according to a new report. The US represents the largest market for fibre-optic components with an estimated share of 39% of the global market in 2007, and US sales are projected to grow at 14% annually during the period 2000–2010. China has emerged as a very price-sensitive market, with surplus manufacturing capacity and centrally regulated tender processes. Transmitters/receivers constitute the largest product segment with estimated sales of $12.6 billion in 2007. Optic Products & Applications: A Global Strategic Business Report is available from Global Industry Analysts.

• An investment of ¥22 billion ($220 million) at Sony's mobile display factory at Higashiura, Japan, is intended to strengthen the company's middle- and large-size organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel production technology. Sony will reinforce its thin-film transistor and electroluminescent layer coating processing facilities, and plans to implement the technology during the year beginning 31 March 2009.

Koheras, a developer of fibre lasers based in Denmark, will market Aculight's Argos tunable optical parametric oscillator (OPO) in several European countries including the UK, Germany and France. The Argos employs a Koheras fibre laser subcomponent and is claimed to be the most powerful commercially available continuous-wave OPO system.

Agilent Technologies has acquired TILL Photonics and completed the acquisition of Colloidal Dynamics. Both companies will join the recently created Materials Science Solutions Unit within Agilent's Life Science and Chemical Analysis business. TILL Photonics develops life science products for fluorescence microscopy and will complement Agilent's atomic force microscope (AFM) platform, while Colloidal Dynamics enables Agilent to have a complementary suite of particle-analysis solutions to materials science customers, according to a statement.

Mobius Photonics has appointed Nexlase to lead distribution of its fibre-based laser products throughout Europe. Growth in laser micromachining applications and Nexlase's experience with OEM customers are said to be behind the change.

• PGT Photonics, a new company in the Pirelli group based in Milan, will specialize in second-generation photonics based on nanotechnologies. Integrating the Photonics business unit of Pirelli Broadband Solutions and the Optical Innovation division of Pirelli Labs, the move is seen as a strategic initiative to generate greater synergies between R&D activities and the commercialization of Pirelli's growing product portfolio of optical components and modules.

People
• Mark Richmond has been appointed new product manager by GSI, responsible for developing the company's high-power lasers for materials processing applications and overseeing research and development.

• Ken Kino has been appointed West Coast sales engineer by Deposition Sciences, a producer of thin-film optical coatings. Kino joins the firm from JDS Uniphase, and will be responsible for sales in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada.

SPI Lasers has named Jack Gabzdyl and Andrew Appleyard as product line managers for pulsed lasers and high-power laser systems respectively. The appointments are in response to growth in the company's G3 pulsed lasers and the R4 system platform, and both will be responsible for driving further uptake and spearheading new product introductions during 2008.

nLIGHT has appointed Heikki Ihalainen as general manager of its fibre division, based in Lohja, Finland. Ihalainen has wide experience in fibre optics with Nokia Cables and Nextrom among other companies.

Optikos Corporation Universe Kogaku America Inc.SPECTROGON ABKentek CorporationISUZU GLASS, INC.LightPath TechnologiesDIAMOND SA
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