Cymer Sees Growth in Chip-Making, Northrop Grumman Combat Drone Takes First Flight, TurboTax Launches Mobile Tax-Filing App, & More San Diego BizTech News

2/7/11Follow @bvbigelow

The innovation economy took center stage last week in San Diego, where new innovations were announced in mobile apps, unmanned aircraft, and new technology platforms developed for smart grid operating systems. We’ve got it wrapped for you here.

—Diego-based Cymer (NASDAQ: CYMI), which is considered a bellwether for the semiconductor industry, said during a fourth-quarter conference call last week that several of its chip-making customers had recently raised their capital expenditure projections for 2011. Cymer makes advanced, deep-ultraviolet lasers for use in photolithography to make chips. “We believe this increase in ‘capex’ investment will translate into continued growth as the year proceeds,” CEO Bob Akins told investors, analysts, and journalists.

—Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), which operates an engineering and development center for unmanned aircraft in San Diego, said its stealthy X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) successfully flew its long-delayed first flight at Edwards Air Force Base on Friday. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is intended to serve as a carrier-based combat strike aircraft.

—-I profiled Fluorotronics, an 11-year-old startup in Vista, CA, founded by Russian immigrant Olga Sharts to commercialize a specialized type of laser spectroscopy that is tuned to the unique spectroscopic signal of carbon-fluorine bonds. Such bonds are found only in manmade products, including pharmaceutical products. Carbon-fluorine bonds also are used to make Teflon and other advanced materials, including microelectronics, semiconductors, chemicals, and aerospace materials.

Wade described how innovation and entrepreneurship have become the bywords for efforts in various quarters to drive economic resurgence in the United States. He noted the Startup America initiative launched by the White House, an unexpected source of funding for the Y Combinator venture incubator program, an expansion of the TechStars operation, and much more.

—Mountain View, CA-based Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) has developed more than 15 mobile apps that are focused on … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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