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Business briefs

28 Jul 2008

Featuring news from IPG Photonics, Aculight, JPSA, Photon etc., Ocean Optics, PHOTONEX08 and more.

• A contract for multikilowatt, continuous-wave ytterbium fibre laser systems totalling 63 kW in power has been placed by the BMW Group with IPG Laser GmbH, the German subsidiary of IPG Photonics. The deal represents the first large-scale production use of fibre laser systems by the German automobile manufacturer, which will employ them in a new production line for the welding of automotive doors. The lasers will be manufactured at IPG's Burbach facility and are scheduled to be delivered in Q4 2008.

Aculight has received a $125,000 Phase I award from the US National Institutes of Health to fund development of a handheld laser-based nerve stimulator. It is intended for use by ear, nose and throat specialists to identify cranial nerves during surgery and to help surgeons avoid the nerve damage that sometimes occurs during medical procedures. The device will use infrared nerve stimulation, a technology that is said to allow diagnosis and treatment for those suffering from neurological trauma.

• A collaborative partnership between J P Sercel Associates (JPSA) and DynTest Technologies will develop and manufacture high-precision scriber/breaker solutions for wafer singulation. DynTest specializes in highly precise wafer-breaking systems, while JPSA specializes in high-speed, high-accuracy laser workstations for scribing, which are claimed to deliver the narrowest kerf in the industry. The collaboration between the two parties provides new opportunities for traceable device singulation in high-volume manufacturing, according to the two companies.

Photon etc., a Canadian manufacturer of photonic measurement and analysis instruments, has been named as the exclusive North American distributor of Leukos products. These include Leukos' supercontinuum sources, which cover standard spectral ranges of 400–1000 nm or 1.0–2.3 µm and which are available as OEM parts or fully integrated into the Photon etc. tunable laser source.

Ocean Optics has introduced a new line of video tutorials as a learning companion to its range of spectrometers and spectroscopy software. Nicknamed "Spectroscopy TV", the tutorials are designed to help new customers set up, calibrate and use their spectrometers in a variety of applications. Episodes are also dedicated to demonstrating SpectraSuite, the company's spectroscopy software.

Deposition Sciences, a US manufacturer of durable thin-film optical coatings, has been awarded an ISO 9001:2000 Management System Certification. Companies that achieve this standard have demonstrated effective implementation of documentation and records management, commitment to their customers, establishment of clear policy, good planning and implementation, resource management, process control, measurement and analysis.

• Despite the collapse of the euro/dollar exchange rate, MEMSCAP reported dollar revenue growth of more than 20% in Q2 2008 and an increase in gross margin by three percentage points. Having made small losses in the previous quarter and in the equivalent period last year, the US/France supplier of micro-electromechanical systems broke even in Q2, a performance described by the company as a significant achievement in the face of adverse economic conditions.

Avago Technologies has announced the addition of new half-watt cool white and warm white light emitting diodes (LEDs) to its series of Moonstone power LEDs. Available in what is claimed to be one of the industry's thinnest packages, Avago's ASMT-Mx60 LED provides high brightness illumination and easy installation for applications that require ultra-high-brightness LEDs, according to the company.

People

• UK entrepreneur Doug Richard will be a keynote speaker on the opening night of PHOTONEX08, to be held in Coventry, UK, on 15–16 October. PHOTONEX will this year unveil its Technology Innovation Forum, bringing together more than a dozen universities and small businesses with investors, IP specialists and technologists. The forum will feature an innovation and demonstration area showcasing new technologies, as well as a seminar programme that is said to already be attracting major players in the sector.

• Mark Weinswig has been named vice-president finance, treasurer and interim CFO by Avanex. He joins from Coherent, where he was most recently a director and business unit controller.

• The Russian Academy of Sciences has elected Roger Stolen as a foreign member. Stolen is a pioneer in the field of optics and is a faculty member at the Clemson University's Centre for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET).

• Bob Akins, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cymer, has been elected chairman of the international board of directors of SEMI, having served as vice chairman of the board in 2007. He succeeds Jerry Coder.

• Jeff Lu has been appointed chief technology officer by ET Solar, an integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic products. Lu will focus on product commercialization, quality control and improvement, and has previously worked at Daystar Technologies and Advanced Photonic Integrated Circuits.

 
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