Agilent opens facility in Shanghai
With the opening of its newest facility in Shanghai, Agilent Technologies Inc. hopes to aid China in becoming an international leader in research and development (R&D) facilities. The new company, Agilent Technologies Shanghai Co. Ltd. (ATS) is a joint venture between Agilent and the Shanghai Precision and Scientific Instrumentation Company (SPSIC). Initially, the new facility will handle R&D and manufacturing activities for Agilent's life sciences and chemical analysis business and will be the Software Application Development Center for the company's automated business. Long-term plans include R&D for the communication and semiconductor industries.

Quanta receives orders from Sharp, looks to expand capacity
Quanta Display Inc. (Taipei) received an order to assemble rear-end thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) modules from Japan-based Sharp. Quanta will begin delivery of the modules in late March and expects new orders from Sharp to reach 10,000 units per month, according to Taiwan Economic News. In February, Quanta produced approximately 200,000 TFT-LCDs. This month, the company expects to reach maximum production capacity with an estimated 210,000 units. To keep up with demand, Quanta is building a cleanroom in its fifth TFT-LCD plant. The company hopes to be tool-ready by September, with mass production slated for the first quarter of 2003. The firm will produce panels for televisions that range in size from 20 inches and above at that location.

SMIC places follow-on order with M+W Zander
M+W Zander (Shanghai, China), a Jenoptik subsidiary, has received a follow-on order from China-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to engineer and construct a cleanroom. The total designated cleanroom space will be 8,000 square meters and is expected to cost $2 million to construct. The company expects the cleanroom to be tool-ready by June. Last year, M+W Zander equipped the SMIC's Fab 1, Fab 3B and Office/Support1 with cleanroom facilities.

Palomar forms alliance
Palomar Technologies Inc. (Vista, CA) has signed Axsys Technnologies Inc., Creative Automation and ILX Lightwave to provide photonic component manufacturers with a single-source for fully automated assembly, test and alignment systems. “With these alliances, we are extending the capabilities of our line even further to include automated optical alignment, fluid dispensing and test functionality. This allows us to achieve our goal of providing the industry with a single source for automated test and assembly systems for photonic devices,” says Kevin C. Conlon, president of Palomar Technologies.

AERONEX named in lawsuit
AERONEX Inc. (San Diego, CA) has been named in a patent infringement action brought by SAES Getters S.p.A. AERONEX denies the allegations because, according to the company, the GateKeeper and Infinity GPS gas purifier technology is not covered by SAES's patents. AERONEX has been awarded U.S. Patent 6,241,955, which SAES claims infringes upon its patent.


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