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Business briefs

31 Mar 2008

Featuring news from Jenoptik, Corning. LG, PerkinElmer, SensL and more.

• The Jenoptik Group posted a 7.5% increase in sales for 2007 to €522 million ($825 million), with laser and optics activities reporting the strongest organic growth with a rise of 10% in order intake. The company predicts a further marked increase in sales during 2008 due to strategic realignment of its business. Trumpf and Jenoptik combined their fibre laser activities in 2007 with the formation of the JT Optical Engine joint venture, and are developing optical engines for fibre lasers to drive growth in the global laser market. The acquisition of Epigap Optoelektronik is also described by the company as the key addition in 2007, said to complete the technology chain for optoelectronic systems.

Corning has opened its first TFT-LCD glass production facility on the China mainland, in the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area. The opening is in line with the company's strategy of entering an LCD-producing region as local market demand expands, and joins its existing LCD glass facilities in the US, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Corning expects global demand for liquid-crystal display glass to grow by between 25 and 30% in 2008, driven largely by demand for LCD televisions, but with smaller applications like LCD monitors, notebooks, and portable devices also representing strong factors in overall demand.

• A non-exclusive joint development agreement between LG Chem and Universal Display Corporation will accelerate the commercialization of high-performance OLED materials for use in displays and lighting products. The collaboration will focus on combining LG Chem's electron transport and hole injection materials with Universal Display's phosphorescent OLED emitter materials and technology, and the OLED materials that result from this collaboration are expected to become available from both companies for evaluation and commercial use in the future.

In a separate announcement, an intellectual property cross-licensing agreement has been reached between LG Display and Eastman Kodak. The licence enables LG Display to use Kodak technology, including yield-improving capabilities for active matrix OLED (AMOLED) modules, in a variety of small- to medium-size display applications such as mobile phones, portable media players, picture frames and small TVs. The agreement also enables LG Display to purchase Kodak's patented OLED materials for use in manufacturing displays. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The agreement is the latest in a series of moves that Kodak has made as the company commercializes its OLED technology.

• A Centre of Excellence has been established in Singapore by PerkinElmer as a base for its global R&D efforts. The facility will manufacture instruments for atomic absorption spectroscopy and UV/visible spectroscopy to detect both inorganic and organic materials in the environment, food, materials and oil industries. It will also support the expansion of PerkinElmer's EcoAnalytix initiative, which addresses the global imperatives of food and consumer product safety, water quality and sustainable energy development.

Laser Photonics, a developer of fibre and CO2 laser systems, has relocated to a larger facility in Lake Mary, Florida. The move will provide more manufacturing space and enable the company to hold larger stocks of standard products, according to a statement.

SensL, a provider of low-light detection and silicon photomultiplier solutions, has signed a contract with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility for the optimization of low-light detectors and the supply of prototypes for possible use in the lab's GlueX experiment. The performance of SensL's silicon photomultipliers is said to have developed sufficiently to allow them to be used in the calorimeter component of GlueX, which aims to investigate confinement in quantum chromodynamics. See earlier coverage of SensL on optics.org.

Philips Solid State Lighting Solutions, formerly Color Kinetics, has licensed its worldwide patent portfolio to Renaissance Lighting, ending litigation and a patent dispute between the two companies. The deal will allow Renaissance to offer its own intelligent LED lighting products, as well as to use Philips' core technology in other new product development.

Pro-Lite will act as UK and Ireland distributors for the Konica Minolta range of illuminance and luminance photomultipliers, tristimulus colorimeters and spectroradiometers. It has also added the full range of Ocean Optics spectrometers to its product portfolio.

Agar Scientific has been appointed UK distributor for Omniprobe consumables and accessories. Omniprobe develops solutions for focused ion-beam and scanning electron microscopy analysis, including sample holders, combined grid and sample holders and probe tip holders.

• The new Broadcast Lighting Division of Litepanels will incorporate its proprietary LED technology into HD-friendly broadcast lighting fixtures, and focus on the requirements of the broadcasting and television industries. The growth of high-definition pictures is driving broadcasters to look for lighting which both saves electrical power and provides a quality of light more flattering to on-screen performers than tungsten-lamped fixtures.

Lumera has received a contract from the US Air Force Research Laboratory valued at approximately $2.2 million to fabricate low driving voltage electro-optic modulators using Lumera's high-performance organic polymers. Radio-frequency photonics, in which optical components and optical fibre are used to process and distribute high-speed electrical signals, are expected to be crucial for future satellites and phased array radars, and electro-optic polymer devices are said to be well suited to these applications.

Sunovia Energy Technologies and EPIR Technologies have established a joint R&D agreement with the US Army Research Laboratory and BAE Systems. The agreement covers the qualification of mercury cadmium telluride material grown by molecular beam epitaxy at EPIR for use in infrared detectors and read-out integrated circuit chips for IR cameras by BAE Systems. Sunovia is the exclusive marketer of EPIR developments, and the companies intend to become a major US supplier to BAE Systems for IR detector technology and focal-plane array production.

People

• William Mackenzie has been appointed general manager of Arasor's consumer optics division, enabling founder and chief executive officer Simon Cao to focus on global strategic initiatives for the optoelectronics and telecommunications supplier. The company also announced that Parviz Tayebati will leave the board of directors to focus on his personal investment interests.

DIAMOND SAISUZU GLASS, INC.BRD Optical Co., LtdHÜBNER PhotonicsSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupLightPath TechnologiesOptikos Corporation
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