News in brief: Rubicon, Bridgelux, Verranzo-Narrows bridge…and more

Cree and Rubicon report financial results, Bridgelux appoints executives, Time-O-Matic is sold, Palomar expands.

Cree LED revenue tops $100 million for quarter

Cree has announced revenue of $125.0 million for its fiscal third quarter ended March 30, 2008. This represents a 5% increase compared to the previous quarter of 2008, and a 38% increase compared to revenue of $90.3 million for the year-ago. GAAP net income for the third quarter was $5.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared to net income of $21.1 million or $0.27 per diluted share for the year-ago quarter. The acquisition of LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc., which closed during the quarter, increased revenue by $0.7 million and reduced earnings by $0.01 per diluted share.

The company's LED revenue was $105.5 million, up 7% sequentially. “Cree’s strategy to drive revenue growth by focusing on LED lighting continued to pay dividends," said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “Revenue growth was led by higher sales of LED components, which exceeded sales of LED chips for the first time."

Results for Rubicon

Sapphire substrate maker Rubicon Technology Inc reported revenue for its first quarter ended March 31, 2008 of $10.5 million, a 46 percent increase year-over-year and a 10 percent increase sequentially. Net income for the quarter was $2.3 million, or 22 percent of revenue, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $0.10.

The company continued the rapid build-out of manufacturing capacity in its new Bensenville, Illinois facility. The new, state of the art, crystal growth facility was opened in January of this year and began installing custom-built furnaces ahead of schedule.

LED lighting for Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City, one of the world's longest suspension bridges, is being fitted with ED lighting, according to an article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (see Verrazano Gets a ‘Green’ Necklace for Earth Day).

Bridgelux appoints executives

LED chip supplier Bridgelux has appointed Keith Scott as VP of business development, and David Barnby as VP of sales and general manager for EMEA. Scott, who will be based at Bridgelux’s Silicon Valley headquarters, has more than 20 years of global experience in the commercial and consumer lighting industry, having held various positions in product and market development. Scott joins Bridgelux from Philips Lumileds.

Based out of Paris, Barnby brings more than 20 years experience managing and growing business opportunities within Europe for high-technology Silicon Valley companies. Prior to joining the company, he was the EMEA vice president of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Systems.

LED display maker acquired

Harbour Group, a holding company, has bought Time-O-Matic Inc, a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of Watchfire-branded digital LED displays, billboards, and related software that serve outdoor commercial display applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Time-O-Matic is based in Danville, Illinois. Last year, Harbour Group acquired SloanLED – see news item.

Court clears Osram of libeling Dominant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a lower court's ruling that Osram GmbH did not engage in unfair competition and trade libel when it told customers that it believed Dominant Semiconductors had infringed its patents for LED technology.

Since later court rulings found Dominant responsible for infringing the patents, Osram's claims were based on fact and thus did not constitute libel, the appeals court found.

Palomar expands cleanroom space

Palomar Technologies has tripled its cleanroom space and increased its prototyping, applications engineering, process development, assembly, and test services capabilities with its new 2,500 square foot (232.26 square meter) class 100K and 500 square foot (46.45 square meter) class 10K cleanrooms.

The expansion enables rapid prototyping and fast turn-around so OEMs can get their products into development or to market faster. Processes include advanced wire bonding, gold ball bumping, and precision component placement for semiconductor packages including high power LEDs.

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