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Design Center Launched in Scotland

Photonics.com
May 2004
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Optocap Ltd., a design center that its founders say will provide a critical link in the commercialization of Scottish microelectronic and optoelectronic research, opened today in Livingston, Scotland.

Established by economic development agency Scottish Enterprise and jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the £4 million center provides a major boost for Scotland's growing optoelectronics industry, said Optocap's chief executive, David Ruxton. The Scottish Optoelectronics Association will participate in developing the center, which Ruxton said will bridge the gap between design and manufacturing of devices.

The center will specialize in processes to arrange the delicate circuitry in the protective packaging that allows optoelectronic devices to interface and connect to external networks via optical fibers and electronic connections. It will develop these solutions for devices used in the communications, consumer, industrial and automotive sectors. It will also create packaging solutions for emerging technologies such as life sciences, where the biochip will play an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

Ruxton announced yesterday that Optocap has already secured its first university spinout customer and its first commercial client. Conjunct Ltd., based at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, is using the center's facilities to help develop an optoelectronics device that will address the inherent deficiencies of electrical buses by using a serial optical bus. Light-emitting polymer based microdisplay developer MicroEmissive Displays Ltd., based at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre, Edinburgh, is using the Optocap center to help design the manufacturing process for one of its devices.

"Packaging of these very fragile and complex devices is often the main barrier to producing a commercially viable product," Ruxton said. "With as much as 75 percent of the product cost lying in developing a packaging solution, it is critical that its design is integrated into the device development process."

For more information, visit: www.optocap.com



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