Photon Dynamics outsourcing LCD process modules to Ultra Clean

Jan. 9, 2008 – Photon Dynamics and Ultra Clean have forged a partnership to hand over manufacturing and testing of Photon Dynamics’ ArrayChecker LCD array test systems, part of the company’s plans to better manage costs in the LCD capital equipment market.

Under terms of the deal, Ultra Clean will manufacture, integrate and test major process modules on Photon Dynamics’ ArrayChecker LCD array test systems of all generations. First shipments manufactured in the firm’s San Francisco facility will be ready in 1Q08, with shipments from its Shanghai operation ready in 2Q08 for summer delivery.

In a statement, Jeffrey Hawthorne, president and CEO of Photon Dynamics, explained that the deal continues the company’s strategy of transitioning fixed costs to variable costs — in this case, lowering manufacturing and shipping costs, while reducing the time-to-market to better align with customers’ production ramp schedules.

For its part, Ultra Clean will provide turnkey manufacturing (including highly specialized electromechanical modules), e.g. assembly, test, and qualification. “The industry’s migration toward larger display panels is driving the need to maximize manufacturing yields. Advanced test equipment thus becomes increasingly critical with each successive product generation,” the firm said in the statement.

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