Archive for the ‘National Photonics Initiative’ category

Akoustis Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire 120,000 Sq. Ft. Wafer Manufacturing Facility in Canandaigua, NY

March 24, 2017

STC MEMS, former Infotonics Center, most recently a division of SUNY POLY

Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKTS), a manufacturer of patented single-crystal BulkONE® bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today it has entered into  binding, definitive agreements to acquire assets from the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF-SUNY) and Fuller Road Management Corporation (FRMC), an affiliate of RF-SUNY.  The assets being acquired include STC-MEMS, a semiconductor wafer manufacturing operation and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business with associated wafer production tools, as well as real estate associated with the facility located in Canandaigua, New York, near Rochester.

Under the terms of the agreements, Akoustis will pay $2.75 million in cash at closing to RF-SUNY and FRMC, subject to certain adjustments and customary closing conditions.  The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of calendar year 2017. As part of the signed definitive agreements, Akoustis plans to acquire all of the following:

  • 120,000 sq. ft. commercial wafer manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes Class 100/Class 1000 cleanroom space (“NY Facility”).
  • 57-acres of real property associated with the NY Facility.
  • 150-mm silicon MEMS wafer fab operations, including all semiconductor manufacturing tools.
  • Existing silicon-based MEMS business with annual revenues of approximately $3M from multiple customers, including a tier-1 mobile wireless solutions OEM.
  • Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and assembly.
  • Two existing tenants with multi-year leases.

Dr. Art Geiss, Co-Chairman of Akoustis, said, “Akoustis will merge its patented BulkOne® BAW RF filter process into the STC-MEMS foundry, an operating silicon-wafer-based MEMs manufacturer.  Since there is significant overlap between the tools and processes used to produce our BAW devices and silicon-based MEMS, transferring our process into the STC-MEMS foundry will accelerate the technology into production.  In addition, we believe that some of the foundry processes used in silicon-based MEMS manufacturing may be utilized in new ways to make further performance improvements in Akoustis’ single-crystal BAW RF filters.”

Jerry Neal, Co-Chairman of Akoustis, added, “This acquisition is an enormous win for Akoustis and is consistent with our capital-efficient business model. A comparable manufacturing facility to build and qualify for production would take up to 2-years and cost well over $50 million, not to mention the challenges of recruiting and training qualified personnel.”

The transaction allows Akoustis to internalize manufacturing providing substantial capacity and control of its wafer supply chain for single crystal BAW RF filters. Akoustis plans to utilize the NY Facility to consolidate all aspects of wafer manufacturing for its disruptive and patented high-band RF filters targeting the multi-billion mobile and other wireless markets. This planned consolidation of the Company’s supply chain into the NY Facility is expected to shorten time-to-market for its RF products, greatly enhancing the Company’s ability to service customers. Shorter time-to-market cycles provide the Company the opportunity to increase the number of customer engagements.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “When combined with its skilled workforce, the Finger Lakes region’s burgeoning R&D and advanced manufacturing industry cluster create the perfect environment for innovative companies like Akoustis to grow and thrive. The addition of new research and manufacturing jobs in Canandaigua will diversify and strengthen the local economy and help to ensure the region continues moving in the right direction.”

Jeff Shealy, CEO of Akoustis, commented, “We look forward to welcoming the dedicated professionals at STC-MEMS into the Akoustis family, and thank Governor Cuomo and his entire organization for their tireless efforts attracting Akoustis to New York State.”

Akoustis plans to maintain the existing customer engagements which are transferred as part of the transaction.  The Company plans to maintain the existing Trusted Foundry accreditation for MEMS processing, packaging and module assembly and will seek to expand the accreditation for the NY facility to include BAW RF filters and sensors.

Concern regarding the Department of Defense Trusted Foundry in Canandaigua ran high in Rochester’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Community since last year’s indictment of SUNY POLY, New York State, and construction officials by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for bid-rigging.

National Photonics Initiative and NYPhotonics On The Hill For Congressional Visits

April 15, 2016

This week we were in DC for Congressional Visits Day and STEM on The Hill, combining forces with our colleagues at OSA and SPIE and ASTRA to educate and inform our delegation about the importance of Optics, Photonics and Imaging to our national security and to the economy.  Our work impacts American lives in so many areas: health care, defense, security and consumer products just to name a few, that it is important to identify, emphasize and support legislation that is important to our membership.

The Optical Society of America (OSA) and International Society For Photonics (SPIE) have really stepped up their lobbying game with the National Photonics Initiative, and their hard work makes our work on The Hill so much easier.

Acknowledgement is due to OSA President, Elizabeth Rogan and SPIE President, Eugene Arthurs for their leadership, and to OSA staff Laura Kolton and Brandy Dillingham and SPIE staff Krisinda Plenkovich and Jennifer Dsouris.  Without their hard work and leadership the NPI would not exist and there would have been no Photonics NMI opportunity that resulted in AIM Photonics, focused upon the development of integrated photonics.  This is important to keep in mind with so many people taking bows.  If you see any of these folks at events and conferences around the world, thank them for their good work.

This week we were fortunate to be joined by two PhD candidates, Jacob Wirth from RIT and Fabrizio Bucccheri, from UR, whose concise descriptions of their work, its relevance to national security, and the importance of U.S. investment in fundamental research that made it possible brought home our R&D message when talking to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Congressman Christopher Smith, Senator Robert Menendez, Senator Corey Booker, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Senator Chuck Schumer.

Fabrizio’s and Jacob’s participation in this week’s events were made possible by student travel grants from OSA.  What a great opportunity for these students.  An interesting note: Jacob’s research colleague at Naval Research Labs was a prior student participant in Congressional Visits Day.

For a look at this week’s talking points during our congressional visits, click here: 2016 NPI Talking Points

 

In Rochester Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's office. Left to right: AIM Photonics Executive, Ed White; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY25); UR PhD candidate, Fabrizio Buccheri; RIT PhD candidate, Jacob Wirth; New York Photonics Executive Director, Tom Battley

In Rochester Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s office. Left to right: AIM Photonics Executive, Ed White; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY25); UR PhD candidate, Fabrizio Buccheri; RIT PhD candidate, Jacob Wirth; New York Photonics Executive Director, Tom Battley

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In Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, Left to right: New York Photonics Executive Director, Tom Battley; University of Rochester PhD candidate, Fabrizio Buccheri; US Senator, Chuck Schumer (New York); RIT PhD candidate, Jacob Wirth; AIM Photonics Executive, Ed White; retired Corning researcher, Richard Vodhanel PhD.

SUNY POLY Chief Scientist will Speak at Rochester IEEE Meeting

October 15, 2015

October 27th  at 6:30pm

Dr. Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics will be giving a IEEE Rochester Photonics Society talk at RIT.  

The title of the talk is “AIM Photonics: What merging photonics with nanoelectronics will do”.

Liehr was an invited speaker for the New York Photonics Annual Meeting, but was unable to attend.   This is a good opportunity to hear from Liehr and his vision of Integrated Photonics.

>More information and registration details here.<<

What we might expect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcrcI2Yh1os

Photonics: What? Why? How? Rochester is freaking out for photonics. But what is it?

October 1, 2015

Rochester is undeniably excited about photonics, even if much of the community doesn’t know what it is.

But there’s good reason for the buzz, since Rochester will be the heart of a national initiative to build an integrated photonics industry from the ground up. The Department of Defense is keen on integrated photonics, which basically weds ultra-high-tech optical systems with high-tech electronics. It’s putting approximately $115 million into the initiative, known as the American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics.

The DOD solicited proposals from across the country, and a contingent led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, University of Rochester, and Rochester Institute of Technology submitted the winning application. The pitch included an additional $250-million investment from New York State; a $250-million investment from the photonics industry, research universities, and other states; and a headquarters in Rochester — a region with a long, pioneering history in photonics’ twin field of optics.

>>Read More Here<<

Light-based Memory Chip Stores To Permanent, Non-Volatile Memory

September 24, 2015

memory-chipThe world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter. The device, which makes use of materials used in CDs and DVDs, could help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory. ‘There’s no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory — the so-called von-Neumann bottleneck,’ explains Professor Harish Bhaskaran, who led the research. ‘But we think using light can significantly speed this up.’

>>Read More<<

 

 

Let There Be Light

September 16, 2015

Rick Williams and KenLou Foundation had an idea.  This can be a very dangerous thing.  Creativity ensues.  Things get messy.  What emerged is going to be extraordinary, and it will be debuting Friday night in Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall as part of the First Niagara Fringe Festival.

Sponsored by KenLou Foundation, Corning Incorporated, The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and made possible by one guy who connected them all: Rick Williams This is going to be one cool show and an international debut worth getting a ticket for, if you can get one.

http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/let-there-be-light-and-music-and-light/Content?oid=2630627

DREdaveinmotion

Register For The 2015 New York Photonics Annual Meeting

August 26, 2015

In a hotly contested competition that had a team led by New York State vying with a team led by Florida and another led by Southern California, the DoD has chosen the New York team as the winner for the Integrated Photonics Institute In Manufacturing Innovation:  AIM Photonics.

All the players involved: Governor Cuomo, SUNY Polytech, our Washington DC delegation, RIT, UR, UCSB, MIT, Columbia and others all played important roles —  and put aside differences to work together.

Congresswoman Slaughter and Senator Schumer helped convene the New York Team, Governor Cuomo had the foresight and determination to offer a huge investment to make the application irresistible.  New York’s technology team worked together to leverage their best talents and recruit members of the application team from other states. Everyone worked hard.  New Yorkers can be proud of this announcement.

What is integrated Photonics?
Why is it important to the DoD?
What will this cross-cutting technology mean to our future?
How will it change our lives?
What is the future hold for the National Photonics Initiative?

These is the subjects of this year’s New York Photonics Annual Meeting.

>>To Register Click Here<<