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07 Jul 2008

Featuring news from EOLITE, Philips, Sunic System, SVTC Technologies, ESO, QPC Lasers and more.

EOLITE Systems has moved into a new 1,200 m2 building at the Cite de la Photonique, Bordeaux. The company develops and manufactures high-power fibre lasers for the semiconductor, solar cell, flat-panel display and diamond cutting markets. The new facilities will allow EOLITE to expand its efforts in the industrial fibre laser market, according to the company. See previous coverage of EOLITE on optics.org.

• A public–private partnership agreement between Philips and the Dutch Government will see the development of a new generation of sustainable solar-powered lighting solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa. The Dutch government will provide funding for awareness creation, entrepreneurial training, as well as support for financial mechanisms and project management. Philips in turn commits to provide a balanced investment in new product development for African people and households deprived of access to modern energy services. The agreement aims to provide 10 million people in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with affordable, appropriate and sustainable energy solutions and services by 2015.

Sunic System, a Korean producer of vacuum deposition equipment for OLED technology, has entered into a strategic co-operation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, Germany, in the field of deposition tool technologies for OLEDs and organic solar cells (OSC). The aim is to improve current fabrication systems in order to meet future demands. The development will be based on a pilot production system to be installed at the Fraunhofer IPMS, which will form the core fabrication tool of the Centre for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD) and be one of the first pilot production systems for OLEDs and OSCs.

• A three-day, intensive Continuing Professional Development course in Laser Technology, aimed at personnel working within the laser and photonics industries, is being offered by the Photon Science Institute, part of the UK's University of Manchester. The emphasis of the course is on practical issues, and consists of laboratory sessions, demonstrations and tutorials. Further details including the course syllabus can be found here.

SVTC Technologies, a semiconductor process-development foundry, has announced that its SVTC Solar business unit has launched the Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Centre. The centre will provide the solar industry with the development equipment, support and engineering services required to create and commercialize innovative solar energy products. Agreements have been signed with leading photovoltaic industry suppliers to provide key services through the centre, which has accepted its first solar manufacturing customers. Corporate investment so far is estimated at $20 million to $30 million.

• A formal Accession Agreement between Austria and ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, has been signed, paving the way for Austria to become ESO's 14th member state. The agreement will give the Austrian astronomical community full access to ESO's facilities, and allow the country's scientists to contribute to shaping the future of ESO's scientific work. Since the agreement involves accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Austrian Parliament for ratification.

• For the third consecutive year, Spectranetics has appeared in the Fortune Small Business 100 list of the fastest growing small companies in America. The company develops what is claimed to be the only excimer laser approved in the US, Europe and Japan for use in minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures, and was ranked 33rd in this year's list.

QPC Lasers, a producer of high-brightness, high-power semiconductor chip-based lasers, has won a $3.5 million contract to develop high-power integrated red-green-blue lasers for laser projection systems. The contract comprises $2 million of non-recurring engineering fees for product development and an initial $1.5 million purchase order. The order comes from a domestic company in the video gaming/entertainment industry and represents the second major consumer electronics order for QPC, which announced a $12 million contract with another customer for laser TVs in December 2007.

Applied Thermal Control, a UK manufacturer of recirculating chillers for precision thermal management, has appointed Peak Service USA to provide a fast turnaround chiller repair service and steadily increasing levels of customer support through its control centre in New Hampshire, US. Peak Service USA specializes in after-sales service for medical, scientific and analytical instrumentation.

Orbotech has acquired Photon Dynamics, a provider of test and repair systems for the liquid-crystal flat-panel display industry, in a deal worth approximately $290 million. This acquisition, which is the largest by Orbotech to date, is a major part of its strategy to grow and diversify its flat-panel display business, according to the company. See previous coverage of Orbotech on optics.org.

Tessera has licensed its OptiML Focus image-enhancement technology to Samsung Electronics. The OptiML Focus solution enables all objects in an image to be in focus simultaneously, from 20 cm to infinity, with no mechanical parts. It will be integrated into Samsung's next generation of image sensor devices to provide non-mechanical autofocus and high-quality low-light performance, according to Tessera.

Photron, a manufacturer of high-speed imaging systems and image analysis software, has been chosen to provide the high-speed cameras for the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008. The company's Fastcam SA1 camera, providing high-speed, high-definition TV imagery at up to 5,400 frames per second, will be integrated into a new imaging system, the SprintCam Live V2, manufactured by Photron's product partner, i-Movix of Belgium.

• Stephen Fantone has been named US Small Business Administration's 2008 Massachusetts Small Business Exporter of the Year. Fantone is president of Optikos Corporation, which manufactures equipment for the measurement of optical image quality and provides optical product development services.

• Mark Schmidt has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Cyberlux Corporation, a provider of LED lighting solutions, succeeding company founder Donald Evans. The transition concludes a two-year internal transition plan during which time Schmidt has managed the company's operations.

Welch Allyn Lighting Products, a manufacturer of high-performance lighting and technology, has named Stephen Chole as international sales manager for surgical lighting and Lori Babiarz as service manager. Chole joins from CheckSite Medical where he was president and CEO. Babiarz has held positions within Welch Allyn since 1992, including product manager and sales coordinator. Both appointments reinforce the company's focus on domestic and international customer outreach, according to a statement.

• L Cary Gunn, co-founder and chief technology officer for Luxtera, has received the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America. The medal is awarded to those who demonstrate noteworthy contributions to optics before reaching the age of 35. Gunn was recognized for his work in the development and commercialization of silicon photonics technology.

• William Bennett, a physicist and inventor who was among the early pioneers of laser technology, has died at the age of 78. In 1960 he was part of the team that built the first gas laser, which generated a continuous infrared beam from a mixture of helium and neon, at Bell Laboratories, US.

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