Novalux Secures $21.7 Million in Financing; Allies with Unaxis to Commercialize NECSEL Light Sources for Display Products
Press Releases - As issued by company
June 14, 2006... Sunnyvale, California USA--Novalux, Inc., developer of Novalux Extended Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (NECSEL) technology, announced today that it has closed a Series B financing for up to $21.7 million (USD). It has also entered into a joint development and license agreement with Unaxis Optics (Switzerland) for NECSEL-based RGB illumination devices for projection display products.
Unaxis Optics, a global leader in optical component coating for projection displays, led the financing round. Previous investors, including Crescendo Ventures (Palo Alto, Calif.), Morgan Stanley Venture Partners (New York), Dynafund Ventures (Torrance, Calif.) and Tredegar Corporation (Richmond, Va.), also participated. Novalux will use the capital to complete NECSEL product development and enhance its production infrastructure.
In addition, Novalux and Unaxis Optics have entered into a joint development and license agreement. According to the agreement, Novalux licenses its RGB laser reference design and will supply Unaxis with NECSEL semiconductor chips. Unaxis will then mass produce and distribute RGB laser modules into the projection display supply chain. The alliance fuels a powerful boost in cutting-edge projection display technology and stands to enable laser-based rear-projection TV (RPTV), front projectors, pocket- and pico-projection.
“We are delighted to welcome Unaxis, one of the world’s leading microdisplay component manufacturers, as a key shareholder and partner,” said Novalux Chairman and CEO Jean-Michel Pelaprat. “Our joint agreement will allow NECSEL laser technology to permeate projection display applications via RPTVs and front projectors, and will open new markets such as pico-projection. NECSEL sources are well suited for these next-generation projection devices—they’re longer life and lower cost than competitive light sources and they’ll provide consumers with an unmatched viewing experience.”
Unaxis CEO Thomas P. Limberger said, “NECSEL is an innovation that will reshuffle the market for front- and rear-projection displays and represent the future direction of projections systems. Novalux’s technology is highly complimentary to our present product portfolio and can be applied across the entire range of micro display and scanning devices. Unaxis Optics’ customers will now have direct access to Novalux laser modules and light engines designed and built by Unaxis. The partnership with Novalux puts us firmly on the leading edge of this exciting new laser technology.”
Lasers have long been recognized for their potential as illumination sources for projection applications due to their wide color gamut and high light energy efficiency. Historically, however, they have lacked the power, small form factor and cost performance to realize laser-based projection display. NECSEL lasers overcome these obstacles, making them ideal light sources for next-generation devices. Ultimately, Novalux and Unaxis aim to enable low-cost NECSEL-based projection devices that exhibit unmatched picture brightness and contrast, true-to-life colors and long life operation.
NECSEL lasers are housed in an innovative package smaller than a matchbox. All NECSEL light sources produce color-saturated output, allowing them to reach a larger color space than competitive lighting technologies. And NECSEL lasers provide bright, speckle-free output, resulting in clear, vibrant images unattainable by any other light source. NECSEL technology also reduces a light engine’s component count, dropping overall device cost. Additional advantages include long lifetime, instant-on and low étendue.
Unaxis Optics Division is a recognized technical leader in the consulting, prototyping, and volume production of optical thin-film products. The Optics Division is headquartered in the Principality of Liechtenstein also with operating facilities in Golden, Colorado (USA) and Shanghai, China. Unaxis Optics is a division forming part of the Unaxis Group of companies (SWX: UNAX) which is headquartered in Pfäffikon/SZ, Switzerland. Unaxis worldwide employs around 6,400 individuals and achieved sales of CHF 1,605 million in 2005.
Founded in 1998, Novalux has developed proprietary Novalux Extended Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (NECSEL) technology. NECSEL technology combines mass volume manufacturability with excellent optical performance. NECSEL device attributes include bright, reliable, consistent, speckle-free light output from a compact, low-cost package, making them ideal for current- and next-generation display applications.
For more information about Novalux, please contact Vice President of Marketing Greg Niven at (408) 773-3433, or visit www.novalux.com.
to CompoundSemi Return
to SSLnet/LIGHTimes Return
to Solid State Lighting Design