09 Apr 2010
Featuring news from Microvision, Avago, Boston Micromachines, the Blu-ray Disc Association, IMEC and Andor.
• Microvision, US, announced this week that it has received an $8.5m purchase order for its ultra-miniature PicoP laser projection display engine from a consumer electronics customer. The OEM plans to embed the PicoP engine inside a high-end mobile media player for release in late 2010.
Microvision recently announced the completion and shipment of initial samples of its new display engine. The device incorporates a proprietary ASIC chipset half the original size and weight and that consumes one third less power than its predecessor while delivering uniformly bright, vivid colour WVGA (848 × 480) images up to 200 inches.
• Avago Technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against STMicroelectronics. Avago alleges that certain STMicroelectronics products infringe four of Avago's patents covering optical navigation technology and is seeking cash compensation and an order preventing further infringement of the technology.
"Avago has devoted significant resources to inventing, developing and progressing the technology that enables the optical mouse," said Avago's general counsel, Patricia H McCall. "When necessary, we will defend our intellectual property against infringement."
• US-based Boston Micromachines says that it has developed a modulating retro-reflector for asymmetric free-space covert communication and remote sensor integration, in response to a prior win of a Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the US Department of Defence. The reflector is intended to allow long-range ground- and air-based communication, on the battlefield, from ship to ship, and from satellite to round station data transfer.
• The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has unveiled two new media specifications that use Blu-ray Disc technology to provide targeted functionality for commercial and consumer applications. The specifications for BDXL (high capacity recordable and rewritable discs) and IH-BD (intra-hybrid discs) are expected in the next few months.
BDXL, which is targeted primarily at commercial segments with significant archiving needs, will provide customers with write-once options on 100 GB and 128 GB capacity discs and rewritable capability on 100 GB discs. A consumer version of BDXL is also expected.
The Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc (IH-BD) incorporates a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer so as to enable the user to view, but not overwrite, critical published data while providing the flexibility to include relevant personal data on the same physical disc. Both the ROM and the RE layers on IH-BD discs provide 25 GB of capacity.
• IMEC and its project partners have started work on an EU FP7 project called PRIMA, which stands for "plasmon resonance for improving the absorption of solar cells". The project has two main goals. First, the team will study metallic nanostructures to see if it can improve the light absorption in a solar cell. Second, the partners want to study how these structures can be integrated into the production of solar cells. The performance and applicability of these cells will then be assessed by solar cell companies participating in the project.
• Andor has named Argentina-based Microlat as its distributor in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Chris Calling, president of Andor USA, commented, "We are very pleased to expand our reach into Argentina, Chile and Uruguay through Microlat, a company highly regarded for its dedication to efficiency and highest quality of service. This partnership will flourish further as we begin to offer our latest sCMOS innovation, which is highly anticipated by the microscopy community."