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Micron Sees $100B Investment for Megafab: Week in Brief: 10/07/22

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BOISE, Idaho, Oct. 7, 2022 — Micron Technology, a semiconductor technology company, plans to build the largest semiconductor fabrication facility in the United States. The new fab is expected to increase domestic supply of memory and create nearly 50,000 jobs in New York. The company intends to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to construct a new megafab in Clay, New York, with the first-phase investment of $20 billion planned by the end of this decade. The site could eventually include four 600,000-sq-ft cleanrooms, for a total of 2.4 million sq ft of cleanroom space.

VIGO, Spain — The city of Vigo will be the location of a new state-of-the-art foundry for III-V semiconductor-based photonics, called SPARC (III-V Semiconductor Foundry and Advanced Photonics Research Center). The facility will consist of a 1600-sq-m cleanroom for wafer production and a research center to assist customers in bringing fully certified photonic products to market. The foundry is expected to be operational by late 2023.

LANNION, France — LUMIBIRD has acquired Innoptics, a specialist in optoelectronic component packaging. Through this operation, LUMIBIRD will welcome a team of five people with complementary technical knowledge and 12 years of experience designing and manufacturing optoelectronic subsystems and components. The acquisition will allow LUMIBIRD to ramp up its verticalization strategy while developing a new range of products to address new markets, with a particular focus on low-cost laser segments for higher-volume markets.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Velodyne Lidar has acquired Bluecity, an artificial intelligence-focused software company and longtime collaborator. The all-stock acquisition is not expected to affect operating expenses and cash usage. Bluecity’s executive, software development, and sales teams will join Velodyne.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Laser Photonics, a supplier of high-tech laser systems, has closed its underwritten initial public offering of 4 million shares of common stock priced at a public offering price of $5 per share for gross proceeds of $15 million before underwriting discounts and commissions. In addition, the company has granted underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 450,000 shares of common stock.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Quantum computing company IonQ has secured a $13.4 million contract to supply the U.S. Air Force research lab with access to its trapped ion systems for quantum computing hardware research and for the development of quantum algorithms and applications. In the past year, IonQ has established research and commercial relationships with Airbus, GE Research, Goldman Sachs, Hyundai, and others.

MINNEAPOLIS — Vergent Bioscience, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing tumor-targeted imaging agents, has closed a $21.5 million series B financing round. The funds will be used to advance clinical development of VGT-309, the company’s targeted fluorescent imaging agent that enables surgeons to see previously undetected or difficult-to-find tumors in real time, ensuring that all tumor tissue is removed during open, minimally invasive (MIS), and robotic-assisted surgical procedures. Orlando Health Ventures led the financing with significant participation from new investors Intuitive Surgical Inc., Windham Venture Partners, and Rex Health Ventures, as well as additional investment from existing investors Spring Mountain Capital and Colle Capital. The series B funding brings the total raised by Vergent to date to $34 million.

MONTREAL — Physik Instrumente (PI), an international group of companies focusing on high precision motion and positioning technologies, and Averna, a provider of test and quality solutions, have formed a new partnership. By combining the competencies of both companies, advanced automation solutions can be delivered to address the demand for flexible, scalable, and high-throughput manufacturing and test equipment.

From left, Sander Slagter, senior technical sales at PI Benelux, Niels Davidts, vice president of Europe at Averna, and Laurent Melin, director of sales EMEA at PI. Courtesy of Averna & PI.
From left, Sander Slagter, senior technical sales at PI Benelux, Niels Davidts, vice president of Europe at Averna, and Laurent Melin, director of sales EMEA at PI. Courtesy of Averna & PI.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Agilent Technologies is launching a partnership with Delaware State University to increase the share of underrepresented students entering STEM fields, a central mission of the company’s philanthropic work through the AgGilent Foundation. Agilent will donate $1 million in addition to new lab instrumentation to help DSU expand educational opportunities and advance research in applied chemistry, biological sciences, food science, molecular and cellular neuroscience, and related disciplines.

REDDITCH, England — GKN Aerospace has acquired Sweden-based Permanova Lasersystem AB to enhance additive manufacturing capability within its engines business. The acquisition also serves to simplify its supply chain, as Permanova has been an existing supplier of laser metal deposition systems for GKN Aerospace sites across Europe.

FARNBOROUGH, England — BAE Systems has opened its new $150 million engineering and production facility in Austin, Texas. The 390,000-sq-ft facility is located in Parmer Austin Business Park. Half of the facility will be dedicated to manufacturing. The campus also includes engineering design, laboratory, and office space. The company has expanded its manufacturing capability with a streamlined design that is easily reconfigurable to match evolving technologies. Expansion space exists within the manufacturing facility to facilitate future growth.

OXFORD, England — Rockley Photonics has obtained $10 million of financing from the holders of its convertible senior secured notes due 2026. The agreement also creates a structure for the company to work with these holders to explore up to $15 million in net additional financing in the form of notes that would be convertible into Rockley’s ordinary shares. In connection with the investment from current holders, Andrew Rickman, chairman and chief executive officer of Rockley, provided an additional $500,000, bringing the total amount of financing to $10.5 million. Rickman’s participation was separately reviewed and approved by the company’s audit committee and independent members of the company’s board of directors.

CARDIFF, Wales — IQE, a supplier of compound semiconductor wafer products and advanced materials, has entered into a partnership with MICLEDI Microdisplays, focused on the large-scale commercialization of microLED technology. Under this agreement, IQE will provide MICLEDI with a 200-mm (8-in.) platform to scale and commercialize this technology to achieve high-volume production for red microLEDs. This geometry allows for compatibility with both standard 200-mm and 300-mm silicon foundries.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A contract has been awarded to Inprentus to supply custom manufactured diffraction gratings to EUV Tech Inc. The gratings will be used as optical components for semiconductor EUV metrology instrumentation. Inprentus and EUV Tech worked together to optimize the design of the optical components to maximize the efficiency and optical characteristics for the semiconductor metrology application.

Published: October 2022
Glossary
diffraction
As a wavefront of light passes by an opaque edge or through an opening, secondary weaker wavefronts are generated, apparently originating at that edge. These secondary wavefronts will interfere with the primary wavefront as well as with each other to form various diffraction patterns.
grating
A framework or latticework having an even arrangement of rods, or any other long narrow objects with interstices between them, used to disperse light or other radiation by interference between wave trains from the interstices. The ability of a grating to separate wavelengths (chromatic resolving power) is expressed as being equal to the number of lines in the grating.
lidar
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
artificial intelligence
The ability of a machine to perform certain complex functions normally associated with human intelligence, such as judgment, pattern recognition, understanding, learning, planning, and problem solving.
quantum
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
fluorescence
Fluorescence is a type of luminescence, which is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation. Specifically, fluorescence involves the absorption of light at one wavelength and the subsequent re-emission of light at a longer wavelength. The emitted light occurs almost instantaneously and ceases when the excitation light source is removed. Key characteristics of fluorescence include: Excitation and emission wavelengths: Fluorescent materials...
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