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In brief: Cree, Optium, Formosa Epitaxy

Cree's profit slips - despite a huge increase in unit shipments of LEDs; optical communications module vendor Optium seeks to raise nearly $70 million in its initial public offering; and Formosa Epitaxy buys three new gas purifiers from Johnson Matthey.

Ups and downs at Cree
SiC device and material vendor Cree posted revenue of $103.9 million for the quarter that ended on September 24, equivalent to a 1 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The flat financial performance highlights the rapid price erosion that is affecting sales of LEDs. Despite a year-on-year increase in unit shipments of 32 per cent, Cree s sales were heavily off-set by a 26 per cent decline in the average selling price of its emitters.

That has had a massive impact on the Durham, NC, company's bottom line, with Cree delivering a net profit of only $13.3 million in the recent quarter compared with $21.7 million one year ago.

While revenue from LED sales has remained largely the same for the past year, Cree has had more success with its SiC wafers and high-power product lines.

Sales of high-power devices such as SiC Schottky diodes rose to $4.5 million in the latest quarter, up more than 35 percent since last year. Meanwhile, Cree's wafer revenue hit $6.6 million "“ representing a yearly rise of nearly 30 per cent.

Optium looks to challenge Emcore, JDSU
US-based optical module developer Optium is expecting to raise about $66.6 million in an initial public offering of stock, claims a report issued by Associated Press.

The company says that its transponders offer reduced power consumption compared with rival vendors thanks to the integration of various optical functions on an InP material platform.

Optium competes with the likes of Emcore, Finisar and JDSU and targets network equipment customers such as Alcatel and Cisco Systems.

Formosa updates gas systems
Taiwanese LED manufacturer Formosa Epitaxy has bought three hydrogen purifiers from Johnson Matthey's Gas Purification Technology group.

Formosa makes InGaN-based epiwafers and chips, including blue, green and near-ultraviolet emitters.

Johnson Matthey's GPT-40 systems are said to provide hydrogen purification to nine "nines" precision (i.e. 99.9999999 per cent) for epitaxy and other processes.

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