17 Jun 2002
In the news this week are job cuts, company reshuffles and research cash awards.
Agere, US manufacturer of communications components, is combining its optoelectronics and integrated circuits businesses. A company spokesperson said that the new Infrastructure Systems Group will lead the convergence of these two technologies in high-speed communications.
Japanese electronics giant Fujitsu has slashed 16 400 jobs after calling 2001 its "Year of Thorough Structural Reform". A company spokesperson said: "This will make it possible for the company to turn a profit even under non-growth circumstances." The US test and measurement company Agilent also cut 4000 jobs this week.
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has awarded USD 40 million to universities and companies across the country to develop thin-film photovoltaic cells. "Each award could significantly cut the cost of solar electricity," said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "This will help US industries maintain its position against tough foreign competition."
Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are developing high-brightness inorganic blue/green light-emitting diodes in a bid to help the local optoelectronics industry. The project follows a HKD 16.5 million (USD 2.1 million) cash injection from Hong Kong's Innovation and Technology Fund and local companies.
US-based management company Solectron has bought Iphotonics, a US supplier of optical integration services, for an undisclosed sum. The deal will close by the end of November, and Iphotonics will become part of Solectron's optical technology unit.
US technology provider Thermo Electron is planning to buy its subsidiary Spectra Physics at USD 20 a share. Already owning 80 % of the laser and optics equipment manufacturer, Themo Electron's latest move forms part of a larger plan to buy back its publicly traded subsidiaries and simplify its structure.