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Business briefs

23 Jun 2008

Featuring news from Ocean Optics, Labsphere, Thorlabs and more....

•  The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted inventor Nick Bromer patent 7,374,106, which covers the use of rapidly flickering lamps such as LEDs or lasers to convey optical codes. The flickering lamp could be embedded in a key, credit/debit card, identification tag or passport. This patent is the fourth in a family of similar patents. Patents 7,232,067 (registering multiple similar items with flickers), 7,061,395 (locating items with flickering lamps) and 6,476,715 (land vehicle identification by flickering lamps) have already been issued.

•  Two divisions of Thorlabs in the US, Nova Phase and OFR, have installed precision thin-film coating facilities at their respective sites. OFR's new coating facility will support the expansion of its line of optical isolators while Nova Phase will use its facility to produce Thorlabs' extensive line of optical components and to offer expanded rapid turnaround OEM coating services.

• The latest market forecast from ElectroniCast Consultants predicts that the global consumption of fibre-optic transceivers based on integrated edge-emitter laser diodes will expand from $3.24 bn in 2007 to $25.7 bn in 2017. The US accounted for some 42% of sales in 2007, while ElectroniCast also expects single-channel devices to increase in market share from 27% of the total in 2007 to 38% in 2017. There will also be a shift away from today's hybrid devices to monolithic transceivers; these devices are still being developed, but will represent 42% of the overall market by 2017.

Ocean Optics claims it is the first company to offer a long-term warranty on its entire line of spectrometers. Spectrometers purchased from Ocean Optics and its authorized distributors are now covered for a full three years against manufacturing defects — regardless of application. The warranty covers parts and labour needed to repair equipment, and also covers the costs of shipping the equipment from customers to Ocean Optics and from Ocean Optics back to the customers.

Prism Solar, an early-stage manufacturer of photovoltaic modules, has received the first equipment for its new 60 MW holographic film production line. The equipment will undergo testing and tuning at the company's R&D facility in Tucson, Arizona, before it goes into production in later this year. Prism expects to begin manufacturing its holographic planar concentrator (HPC) film later this year at its plant in Lake Katrine, New York.

Corning predicts that the 2008 global LCD glass market will grow to the upper end of its original 25% to 30% year-over-year estimate. Based on strong US LCD TV sales through the first five months of the 2008, the company believes that the worldwide market will reach 105 million units. "So far this year, we are not seeing evidence of the economic downturn impacting our forecasted growth," said James Flaws, Corning's vice chairman and chief financial officer. "In fact, the evidence we have shows that May LCD TV sales in the US increased nearly 50% over a year ago."

• Two Fraunhofer institutes have joined forces to establish a new roll-to-roll coating plant for the small molecules used in organic devices. The co-operation of the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) is seen as a significant milestone for the Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD) (see related story). "The new coating plant will enhance Dresden's standing as a cluster location for organic semiconductors. In early 2009, we should see the first OLED demonstrators," said Karl Leo, director of IPMS.


•  Peter Weitzman has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing at Labsphere. Weitzman rejoins Labsphere from UK-based software engineering company DEM Solutions and has previously worked at Labsphere as a software engineer. As vice president of sales and marketing, Weitzman will be responsible for managing sales, marketing, application engineering, customer service and product management for the company's line of light testing and measurement, and optical coating solutions.

JPSA has announced that Chuan Ki Foo will head up its new customer service and support office in Malaysia. Foo has more than a decade of experience in technical service and support for companies such as Motorola. JPSA's new office will provide service, installations and training in Malaysia, China and Singapore and will stock spare parts for customers of JPSA's laser workstations for wafer processing and micromachining.

Universe Kogaku America Inc.LASEROPTIK GmbHIridian Spectral TechnologiesAlluxaHyperion OpticsCeNing Optics Co LtdLaCroix Precision Optics
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