MINNEAPOLIS, May 3 -- CyberOptics Corp. announced that it has acquired from Avanti Optics Corp., in consideration for a $1.5 million term loan, the right to manufacture and distribute manual and semi-automated equipment for the assembly of surface mountable optical components, based on a new surface mount optical technology that is currently under development by Avanti.
Steven M. Quist, CyberOptics CEO, said "Current manufacturing processes employed by the photonics industry are extremely labor-intensive and inefficient, resulting in low production yields. In response, Avanti is developing a breakthrough technology, called Surface Mount Optics, that will potentially enable scalable, low-cost photonics manufacturing. Having the right to manufacture and distribute equipment based upon this exciting technology could open a new and potentially significant market for CyberOptics."
The $1.5 million term loan, which is secured by all of Avanti's intellectual property assets, will automatically convert to equity at the close of Avanti's next financing round. CyberOptics now owns approximately 12 percent of Avanti, a development-stage company launched by CyberOptics' chairman, Steven K. Case, Ph.D., in 2000 to develop and market automation systems for manufacturing high-precision fiber optic components for broadband telecommunications systems. In early 2001, CyberOptics also obtained the right from Avanti to pursue a photonics component inspection system. It has been conducting marketing and application studies on this system for the past year.
As part of the transaction, Avanti will develop a photonics assemby workstation prototype for CyberOptics that will be built to the requirements of a customer for Avanti's surface mount optics technology. CyberOptics will complete development of a commercial product after the prototype is delivered.