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Silicon Valley Laser Company Celebrates 40th Anniversary Still Young and on the Edge of Innovation

By Doris Andrews,2014-02-17 20:18
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Silicon Valley Laser Company Celebrates 40th Anniversary Still Young and on the Edge of Innovation

Silicon Valley Laser Company Celebrates

    40th Anniversary Still Young and on the

    Edge of Innovation 产业瓿闻

    IndustryNews

    qualityprocessesanduseofapprovedinternational materialssourceshasenabledtheSuccessfu1transferof world-classlaserproductiontoChina.

    OpenedinNovember2005,GSIGroup'snew5000

    squaremetrefacility,locatedintheSuzhouIndustrial ParkinJiangsu,People'sRepublicofChina,features demonstrationequipment,meetingrooms,manufacturing space,andofficespace.Thefacilityservesthe company'sgrowingmarketsinmainlandChinaforits precisionmotion,laser,andlasersystemtechnology productsSteveKew,ManagingDirector,GSIGroup LaserDivision.said:"Thedeliveryofthefirstlasers fromournewfacilitymarksanimportantstepforGSI Group,reaffirmingourcommitmenttoourcustomersin SouthEastAsia.Ournewlocalmanufacturingand servicefacilities,closetotheuser.willallowusto providelocalsupportandrespondtoourcustomers moreeffectivelyandaddresstheongoinggrowthinthis regioninamorecomprehensiveway.''

    GSIGroupInc.developsanddeliverstheenabling technologysolutionsthatbringadvancedmanufacturing

    applicationstolife.Ourleadingbrandsinclude precisionmotionproducts,lasers,andlasersystems, andareusedtoincreaseefficiencyandproductivityin theglobalmedical,semiconductor,electronics,and industrialmarkets.Thecompany'scommonsharesare listedonNasdaq(GSIG).(No.11)

    LaserAdvanceCouldOpenup

    NewMarkets

    AppliedscientistsfromHarvardUniversityhave,forthe firsttime,demonstratedhighpowercontinuouswave

    (CW)roomtemperaturequantumcascade(QC)lasers madebyawell——establishedmassproductionsemicon,, ductorsynthesistechnique.Thebreakthroughcould soonleadtothelarge-scalecommercializationofQC lasersandopenupnewmarketsforlaser——based

    chemicalsensors.

    ThenewgenerationofQclasersreliesonalayer

    depositiontechniqueknownasmetalorganicvapor phaseepitaxy(MOVPE),oneofthemostcommonand versatilemethodsformass-producingtechnologyfor semiconductorlasers,circuits,andotherphotonics componentsforcommunications.

    "Bypullingtogethercomplementarystrengthsinthe quantumdesignofQClasersandinMOVPEtechnology, theteamhasachievedrecordperformancethatwill enableawiderangeofcommercialandmilitary applications,"saidFedericoCapasso,RobertL.Wallace ProfessorofAppliedPhysicsandVintonHayesSenior ResearchFellowinElectricalEngineeringatHarvard's

    DivisionofEngineeringandAppliedSciences. Quantumcascadelaserswereinventedandfirst demonstratedbyCapassoandhisgroupatBellLabsin 1994.Thesepowerfulandportablelasersaremadeby stackinguhrathinatomiclayersofsemiconductor materialsontopofeachother,traditionallyusinga growthtechniquecalledMolecularBeamEpitaxy (MBE).Byvaryingthethicknessofthelayers,scientists canselectthewavelengthatwhichaQclaserwillemit light,customdesigningitforaspecificapplication.The rangeofapplicationsofQClaser-basedchemical sensorsisverybroad,includingpollutionmonitoring, medicaldiagnosticssuchasbreathanalysis,and applicationsforhomelandsecuritylookfornewlaser applications.(No.12)

    SiliconValleyLaserCompany

    Celebrates40thAnniversary

    StillYoungandontheEdgeof

    Innovation

    Coherent,aSantaClaracompanythatcelebratesits 40thanniversaryofmakinglasersFriday,hastobeone oftheoldesttechcompaniesstartedinSiliconValley that'sstillpursuingitsoriginallineofbusiness. What'SthesecretofCoherent'slongevity?Perhapsits breakingmanyofthevalley'srulesforcopingwith change.

    Rulenumberone:Constantreinvention.N0tat

Coherent,whichhasstuckwithwhatitknowsbest

    comingupwithnewapplicationsforhighend

    commercialandresearchlasers.

    Rulenumbertwo:Keepmovingproductionfacilities aroundtheworldinsearchofthelowest-costworkforce. Nope.Coherentstillrunsanassemblylineinsideits corporateheadquartersatthecomerofPatrickHenry DriveandTasmanDrive,withastaffofabout250 productionworkerswhoturnout40percentofannualsa1es Rulenumberthree:Passoverolderworkersinfavor ofyoungwhippersnappers.

    Noagain.Coherentfindsvalueingrayhair,with manyemployeeswho'veputin25yearsormore. AmongthemisWayneMeflferd.now68.anengineer whowasamongthecompany'ssixfounders.

    JohnR.Ambroseo,Coherent'schiefexecutiveofIicer andayoungpupwithjust18yearsatthecompany, saysMefferd"worksgraduatestudenthours."Inother

    words,Mefferdgoesfarbeyondcheckinginat9a. m.

    andcheckingoutat5P.m.

    Coherent,however,didgetstartedinthetraditional way:Disgruntledemployeesofanestablishedtech companydecidetheycandobetterontheirownina garage.Or,inthiscase,inalaundryroom.

    Thefirstfunctionallaserwascreatedin1960.and thecommercialpotentialwasimmediatelyobvious. Provided,ofcourse,thenewtechnologyforcreating highlyfocused-or"coherent"-beamsoflightcouldbe producedaffordablyoutsideofresearchlabs.

    Oneoftheearliestpioneersincommerciallaserswas Spectra-PhysicsofMountainView,foundedin1961. But,by1965,severalSpectra-Physicsengineersand executives——includingMefferd-thoughtthecompany wasn'tmovingfastenough.

    EugeneWatson,aSpectraPhysicsmanagerwho

    becameCoherent'sfirstCEO.setupthefounding engineersinhishomeonEmersonStreetinPaloAlto inearly1966,choosingthelaundryroombecauseithad runningwaterforcoolinganda220-voltpowerline. Thegroupsuccessfullytestedtheirfirstlaser,Watson Indust~News

    recalledthisweek,"byreflectingthebeamontomy acrossthestreetneighbor'sgaragedoor.

    ''

    "Thegrowing,darkening,smokingspotprovedthe beamwascoherent.Myneighbor,notaniceguy. deservedit-andneverlearnedwhatthatmysteriousspot wasorwhereithadcomefrom."

    Watson,now78,leftCoherentin1968andwent0n tolaunchastringofcompaniesinlasersandoptics——

    includinghislatestinWyoming,wherehelives. Coherentnowhas2200employees.

    annualsa1es

    around$500millionandamarketvalueofabout$1 billion.Butasidefromtakingafewhoursfora ceremonyFridayafternoon,Coherentisn'tsinkinginto complacentmiddleage.

    Thecompanycontinuesto

    OnWednesday,Ambroseoalsoproudlyshowedmea

    lear——projectionhigh-definitionTVmodifiedby Coherenttouselasersinsteadofaconventiona1 incandescentbulb+Laserillumination.hesaid.makes forrichercolorsandlowerpowerconsumption. Coherentisshowingtheinnovationtomanufacturersof TVsanddigitalmovieprojectors,lookingfornew customerstokeepthecompanygoingforanother40years, Finally,afootnoteforhistorians:Coherentisolder thanalmosteverybignameinSiliconValley,pre

    datingsuchstalwartsasIntel,CiscoSystems,Apple, OracleandAdobeSystems,nottomentiondotcorn

    newcomerssuchasYahoo,GoogleandeBay.

    PaloAltobasedHewlettPackardisolder.butspun

    ofritsoriginalelectronictestequipmentbusinessin 1999asAgilentTechnologies.Varian,alsobasedin PaloAltoandalsoolderthanCoherent.hasgone throughextensiverestructuring.

    TheoneothercontenderforanindependentSilic0n Valleycompanystillinthesamebusinessformorethan 40yearswouldbePlantronies,whichhasbeenmaking headsetsinSantaCruzsince1961.

    Spectra-Physics,meanwhile,didn'tfareaswelIas Coherent.Thecompanywentthroughaseriesofowners andisnowthelaserdivisionofIrvinebasedNewport.

    withabout400employeesinMountainView.(No.131

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