Archive for the ‘Photonics’ 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.

Arrest Made in Optics & Thermal Imaging Export Violation

March 10, 2017

UKRAINIAN NATIONAL ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SCHEME TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT RIFLE SCOPES AND THERMAL IMAGING EQUIPMENT

Military grade equipment was intended for shipment to Ukraine.  Queens Man Sought to Export Controlled Rifle Scopes and Thermal Imaging Equipment Designed for Military Use.

The devices obtained by the defendant and his co- conspirators included some of the most highly powerful and technologically sophisticated night vision rifle scopes and thermal imaging equipment available, including, among others, an Armasight Zeus-Pro 640 2-16×50 (60Hz) Thermal Imaging weapons sight, a FLIR Thermosight R-Series, Model RS64 60 mm 640×480 (30Hz) Rifle Scope, and a ATN X -Sight II 5-20x Smart Rifle Scope.

Thanks to Jon Yormick at Phillips Lytle LLP for making us aware of this story.

>>DOJ Press Release Here<<

Please Note:
The deadline for providing public comments to the State Department and Commerce Department’s Notice of Inquiries (NOIs) regarding suggested changes to US Munitions List Category XII and corresponding Commerce Control List VI is March 14th.

If your company or university can provide detailed comments on the direct impact of the suggested language in the NOIs, this is by far ideal. Templates to help guide you in providing these comments, and further information on the NOIs, can be found at http://www.spie.org/export

Not commenting at all will be seen by the inter-agency as having no objections to the proposed regulatory language in the NOIs. The Federal Register notices can be found at the links below.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/13/2017-00651/notice-of-inquiry-request-for-comments-regarding-united-states-munitions-list-category-xii

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/13/2017-00652/increase-of-controls-infrared-detection-items

 

Private Equity Investments in Photonics – 2016 Highlights

February 24, 2017

logo_ceresPhotonics has been at the core of many modern day inventions and economic growth for decades now. However, the environment for photonics technology and component providers remains highly fragmented and fiercely competitive with their OEM customers and end-users further up the value chain realizing more of the value. Is that changing? It appears the public market leading photonics companies are catching up with their customers and capturing more value in 2016.

publicmarketleadersphotonicsvsoems

>>Read More Here<<

We Are Living In The Century of the Photon! Photonics!

February 23, 2017

2017 New York Photonics Map/Calendar Debuts at SPIE Photonics West

February 10, 2017

It’s popular!  It has already gone global!
We handed out nearly 250 calendars, large and small,  at the New York Photonics booth in the Photonics West New York Aisle this year.
Industry folks and customers around the world love to get their hands on this calendar.
Thank you to all of the sponsors for their support of this great economic development handout.

If you live in the Finger Lakes Region you can get your hands on the calendars at local events.
If you live elsewhere you may be able to get one from one of our many sponsors or at international SPIE and OSA conferences.

new-york-photonics-17

Navitar Purchases Canadian Camera Manufacturer PixeLINK®

January 31, 2017

 Acquisition Expands Navitar’s Integrated Imaging Solutions Business

Photonics West, January 31, 2017 — Navitar Canada, Inc. (Navitar), an innovative manufacturer of precision optical solutions, announced today the purchase of PixeLINK®, a leading developer of digital cameras for use in industrial, life science, and other advanced imaging applications.


Based in Ottawa, ON, Canada, PixeLINK manufactures, optimizes and integrates industrial cameras for machine vision applications and microscope cameras for life science and digital microscopy applications. Product offerings include CMOS and CCD sensors, coupled with state-of-the-art high speed digital technologies such as USB 3.0, FireWire (IEEE 1394), USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE). PixeLINK’s latest camera models are equipped with the 12.3 MPixel Sony Pregius IMX253 (1.1”) and 8.9MPixel IMX255 (1”) sensors which support 4K Ultra HD video.

“The addition of the PixeLINK business enables us to provide our Navitar core dealers and OEM customers in machine vision and life science a large range of visible spectrum camera solutions,” explains Navitar President Michael Thomas. “Navitar recently added active alignment, assembly and testing of 4K OEM lens camera modules to our repertoire of services – combining Navitar large format, athermal, HDR lenses with Sony IMX CMOS sensors. Now our customers developing VR cameras, autonomous vehicles, drones and persistent surveillance systems will achieve unprecedented image quality with a Navitar lens, and they will benefit from decades of sensor integration expertise and industry-leading CMOS camera technology from PixeLINK.”

PixeLINK is recognized around the world for its quality hardware, imaging software and unmatched customer service. Their USB 3.0 high speed cameras provide superb image quality and have consistently been rated as the most reliable industrial cameras in the market. Paul Saunders, President of PixeLINK, comments, “We are excited to add our cameras to Navitar’s large selection of imaging products. Current and new customers will benefit greatly from our integrated solution offerings.”

Julian Goldstein and Jeremy Goldstein, owners of Navitar, comment, “We welcome the PixeLINK employees and customers to the Navitar network of companies and look forward to developing ground-breaking integrated camera and lens solutions optimized for the sharpest, cleanest images available in the industry.”

Navitar announced the acquisition of PixeLINK at SPIE Photonics West. In addition, the company is introducing a new high performance zoom lens series, the Resolv4K, with a live demonstration using a PixeLINK camera (IMX255 sensor).

Press contact:

Amy Block, Marketing Director, Navitar, Inc. | 585.359.4000 | amy.block@navitar.com

Rochester’s Alexis Vogt, Honored Among 2016 “40 under 40”

September 9, 2016

On the heels of 2015’s International Year of Light, Rochester, New York is achieving greater recognition for its preeminence in optics, photonics and imaging. Rochester’s 2015 designation as headquarters for AIM Photonics will bring with it a new Test, Assembly & Packaging plant to begin construction in 2017, with new jobs, new technologies and new skill set demands.

It seems fitting that 2016 is the year that the community has chosen to recognize one of Rochester’s “optics shining stars,” Alexis Vogt as one of our “40 under 40.”vogt-pic

Vogt, currently Endowed Chair & Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, teaches in the only Optical Systems Technology program in the nation.  The program is at maximum enrollment for Fall, 2016.

A PhD from the University of Rochester Institute of Optics with a specialized emphasis on polarization engineering, coherence theory and microscopy, Vogt has already achieved career objectives that many people only dream about.

While engaged in her UR studies Vogt had already achieved distinction:

  • Dean’s List 10 of 10 semesters and Tau Beta Pi National Honorary Engineering Society
  • Recipient of 2000 Institute of Optics Faculty Award
  • Recipient of 2001 Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • University of Rochester Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College member 2001 – 2004

She interned at Corning, Inc. in metrology for optical fiber, where she designed and developed certification devices to increase accuracy and reliability of fiber draws.

In her spare time, she defined “light” and “polarization” for the World Book Encyclopedia, got married and had two children.

At Bausch & Lomb she was manager of medical affairs in the advanced optical design and metrology department where she was awarded the 2012 CEO Award Recipient for “directly showcasing Bausch + Lomb optical designs to eye care professionals in a compelling and engaging way…” and the 2011 Focus on Excellence award.

As an optical physicist, Vogt was applications engineer, business development manager and senior product manager at Melles Griot in Rochester, where she was awarded the 2015 IDEX KEEP Award for high performance and was offered financial incentives to remain at IDEX.

She instead chose an endowed professorship at MCC in optical systems technology.

“Each day I reflect on how fortunate and blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, and a job that I love in a community I love.” Says Vogt. ” The birthplace of optics in America is Rochester, NY, and to be educating students at Monroe Community College and helping them prepare for a career in optics, photonics and imaging is incredibly rewarding.  The only limit to what they can do is their own ambition.  We have CEOs in Rochester with a 2-year degree from our program.”

“As we move forward and grow our optics program to meet the increasing regional and national optics workforce demands, I want more families to encourage their children to pursue interests in science and physics, especially their daughters.” 

Alexis’ last name, Vogt, has her at the bottom of the list alphabetically, but we think that she belongs at the top!  

We are delighted that she will be a speaker at the New York Photonics Annual meeting in Rochester on October 27th.

>>Awardees Here<<