Fiberoptics Industry Report

Picolight raises $13 million

Picolight (Boulder, CO) raised $13 million in its latest funding round. Coral Capital Management led the round by joining previous investors, BA Venture Partners and Vesbridge Partners, to complete the new financing. The company is looking to close another $4 million to $7 million in funding during the second quarter of 2005 for various product expansion activities. Picolight raised $90 million in prior capital, with the most recent round raised at a significant increase in valuation from the prior round.

The company says its revenue has increased more than 125% from the first quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005, fueled by increasing demand in Internet protocol-driven applications, including 10-Gigabit Ethernet and parallel-optics markets.

TriQuint to sell its optoelectronics business

TriQuint Semiconductor (Hillsboro, OR) will sell its indium phosphide opto­electronics operation in Breinigsville, Penn. and Matamoros, Mexico, to CyOptics (Lehigh Valley, PA), an optical-components manufacturer.

TriQuint says it will now focus on its growing businesses in the wireless handset, base station, defense, and wireless broadband access markets by building on its portfolio of semiconductor and filter products. Last December, TriQuint announced it was exiting the pluggable optical module business to focus on indium phosphide components, chips, and subassemblies as part of a repositioning of its optoelectronics business strategy. The bulk of TriQuint’s optoelectronics business came from the 2003 purchase of “a substantial portion” of the optoelectronics business of Agere for $40 million in cash.

fSONA partners with LaserBit

fSONA Systems (Vancouver, BC, Canada) and LaserBit (Budapest, Hungary) are joining forces to deliver the most comprehensive selection of optical free-space wireless products worldwide. The strategic agreement allows both companies to sell their complete combined product portfolio globally.

The products offered by the two companies will range from LaserBit’s low-cost Power over Ethernet Pluto solutions to fSONA’s military-grade, high-performance SONAbeam M Series.

Exar acquires assets of Infineon’s optical-networking product line

Exar (Fremont, CA) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Infineon Technologies North America in which Exar has agreed to acquire for cash a significant part of Infineon’s optical networking (ON) business unit. The acquisition includes assets relating to the multirate TDM framer products, fiber channel over SONET/SDH, resilient packet ring (RPR), as well as certain intellectual property for data-over-SONET products.

“This transaction reaffirms Exar’s commitment to the communications market; especially to high-growth sectors such as the multiservice aggregation and data-over-SONET/SDH markets,” states Roubik Gregorian, president and CEO of Exar.

Finisar signs agreement to acquire I-TECH

Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA), a provider of fiberoptic subsystems and network test and monitoring solutions, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire I-TECH (Eden Prairie, MN), a privately held network test and monitoring company, for approximately $12.1 million in convertible notes which are convertible into shares of Finisar common stock over a period of one year following the closing of the acquisition.

“The acquisition of I-TECH provides the last missing piece to our product portfolio of test and monitoring equipment for storage applications,” says Kevin Cornell, senior vice president and general manager of Finisar’s Network Tools Division.

Also in the news . . .

The race by worldwide telecommunications carriers to roll out passive optical network (PON) fiber is creating a boom in the market, with shipments projected to jump 310% from $525 million in 2004 to $2.2 billion in 2008, according to a report from Infonetics Research (Manhasset, NY). . . . Producer of innovative optical transceiver/transponders used in 10-Gigabit enterprise applications, BeamExpress (Sunnyvale, CA and Lausanne, Switzerland), announced that it closed a $14.2 million funding round led by Oak Investment Partners, along with existing investors, Index Ventures and European Technology Ventures. . . . ECI Telecom (Petah Tikva, Israel) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the optical activities and technology of Eastern Communications in China for an undisclosed amount. . . . Scientific-­Atlanta (Lawrenceville, GA) and Tropic Networks (Ottawa, ON, Canada) have reached an agreement that will allow Scientific-Atlanta to resell and support Tropic’s advanced intelligent wavelength transport platform that enables cable operators to rapidly and reliably deploy a variety of high-bandwidth, advanced video, voice, and data services.

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