New MEMS White Paper

Download the latest Logitech white paper and learn more about MEMS processing technology and techniques

Download our CMP White Paper

FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.





























1 March 2007


Intense acquires High Power Devices Inc

Intense Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, UK is acquiring High Power Devices Inc (HPD) of North Brunswick, NJ, USA, a high-volume manufacturer of high-power laser diodes for the defense, medical, and industrial markets.

Equity finance for the deal was led by Scottish Enterprise’s newly created Scottish Venture Fund (SVF) along with Intense's existing investor 3i, as well as Esprit Capital Partners, FNI, and Alice. Debt funding was provided by Noble and Co in the UK and Silicon Valley Bank in the US.

Intense designs and manufactures high-density, individually addressable monolithic laser array products for printing, defense and industrial applications built upon its patented quantum well intermixing (QWI) technology and processes, developed by founder and CTO professor John Marsh (and president-elect of the IEEE Lasers and Electro Optics Society). Intense recently launched its Hermes family of laser products.

QWI allows the integration of passive areas within the active region of high-power laser diodes. Passive non-absorbing mirrors are created at the facet regions of the laser cavities to avoid catastrophic optical mirror damage (COMD), which is frequently encountered in typical lasers. This, combined with proprietary design techniques, improves brightness, lifetimes, and power, the company claims.

HPD's patented asymmetric waveguide (AW) technology is designed to increase the power and reliability of high-power laser diodes. The power degradation of a high-power laser is driven mainly by the optical power density in the quantum well active region. Using a patented asymmetric epitaxial structure, the optical energy is spread into a large waveguide, reducing the power density in the quantum well, producing a more robust and efficient device, it is claimed. It also provides reduced beam divergence and better electrical and thermal performance, claims Intense.

“We have been able to bring together two highly complementary businesses to take advantage of the significant opportunity in the rapidly evolving and consolidating diode laser sector,” says CEO Scott Christie. “We have a unique technology platform, modern manufacturing facilities and a team renowned for its expertise in design and efficient production.” The combination of QWI and asymmetric waveguide technologies will enable the phased introduction of laser diodes through 2007 and beyond, Christie adds.

Intense retains its head office in the UK and operates through two complementary centers (supported by one global sales and marketing team). The UK business continues to focus on the development and production of monolithic laser array products for the print and imaging markets. The US business, called Intense - HPD, focuses on the development and production of high-power laser products for the defense, medical and industrial markets.

“The combined business has an internationally acclaimed research and development team headed by professor John Marsh, which is able to offer highly customized products to a wide range of customers…from laser array products for the graphic arts industry through high-power single emitters for military range finders,” says HPD co-founder Tom Moritz, head of US operations.