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Business briefs

21 Aug 2008

Featuring news from JDSU, Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, Powerlase, iSuppli, SPIE and more.

• Revenues at JDSU rose to $390.3 million in Q4 2008, up from $350 million for the same period of the previous year. Full-year revenues increased by over 9% to $1.5 billion, which helped to reduce the company's overall losses from $26 million in 2007 to $21.7 million this year. Revenue growth during the quarter came from three out of the company's four business segments: optical communications grew by 6%, communications test and measurement by 12%, and advanced optical technologies increased by 21%. The sole sector to show a decline was the lasers segment, where business fell by 9%.

Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, a joint venture between the two Japanese technology giants, has unveiled organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays that are claimed to demonstrate the world's longest product life span and lowest power consumption. The 2.2-inch OLED panel has a lifetime of 60,000 hours and a power consumption of 100 mW, according to the company. The venture has developed the new panel in cooperation with Idemitsu Kosan, a Japanese oil refiner active in OLED materials development. Commercial manufacture of the panels is due to start by March 2009 for cellphones and other mobile devices, although the scale of production has yet to be decided.

• Traditional polysilicon producers are continuing to expand their capacity at varying rates, with most planning to complete new plants or expansions in 2008, according to a new report. Further expansions through 2012 will see the cumulative output grow at least three-fold from 2006 levels. Module production will grow by 60 to 70% in each of the next two years, with total module supply growing by over 80% when thin film is added in. Consequently supply will grow faster than demand, leading to a substantial price decline for modules through 2010. Polysilicon: Supply, Demand & Implications for the PV Industry was prepared by Greentech Media and the Prometheus Institute.

Powerlase, the UK-based developer of high-power nanosecond solid-state lasers, has been awarded the Business Achievement Award 2008. The award recognises Powerlase's presence in the plasma screen market, although the company is currently targeting new markets including solar and materials processing applications.

• After nearly three months of plummeting profitability and price plunges, the market for large LCD panels is due for a recovery in September 2008. iSuppli predicts that cuts in panel production, combined with the clearance of inventory and a recovery in demand from televisions, desktop PC monitors and notebook PCs will shift the supply/demand equation back to balance, leading to a recovery in pricing. iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those having a diagonal screen dimension of 10 inches or larger.

In a separate prediction, iSuppli expects worldwide sales of active matrix OLED (AM-OLED) products will grow to 185.2 million units by 2014, rising at more than 84% annually from 2.6 million in 2007. Revenue is expected to expand to $4.6 billion by 2014 from $67 million in 2007. iSuppli believes that the potential for AM technology to provide major improvements over OLED quality was most clearly demonstrated by Sony's AM-OLED television, whose image quality has achieved wide acclaim.

Octillion, a US incubator for alternative and renewable energy technology, has entered into a research agreement with Oakland University to develop its NanoPower Window technology. The two-year agreement will be focused on transparent photovoltaic device construction on glass substrates, but also includes provisions to explore related innovations such as flexible substrates, hybridized solar cell designs, and other photovoltaic technologies.

JMAR Technologies, a developer of laser, photonics and detection technologies, reported that revenues for the second quarter of 2008 totalled $29,608, down from $196,564 for the same quarter last year. US government-sponsored research made up the bulk of sales in the latest quarter, although the company partly attributed the drop in revenues to a reduction in contract research under Department of Defence programmes.


• Steve Kelley has been appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer by Cree. Kelley will be responsible for business development, administrative operations and global manufacturing of the company's LED products.

SPIE has announced the Society Officers for 2009. Maria Yzuel of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain, will serve as president, while the 2009 president elect is Ralph James from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, US. Katarina Svanberg of Lund University, Sweden, has been elected vice president, and Brian Lula from PI Physik Instrumente, US, will be the society's secretary/treasurer.

• Kevin Davies and Steve Harrer have joined Bloo Solar as technical advisors, as the company prepares to ramp up production at its thin-film manufacturing plant. Bloo's technology is claimed to utilize nano-structured photovoltaic cells to increase the total power output of solar panels.

HÜBNER PhotonicsIridian Spectral TechnologiesABTechCeNing Optics Co LtdLASEROPTIK GmbHAlluxaLaCroix Precision Optics
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