Sept. 1, 2006
The demand for high-definition television (HDTV), wireless equipment, computers, and other consumer devices is growing as a result of optically based broadband services now becoming available in the U.S., according to survey information from RVA Market Research (Tulsa, OK).

Fiberoptics boost consumer electronics

The demand for high-definition television (HDTV), wireless equipment, computers, and other consumer devices is growing as a result of optically based broadband services now becoming available in the U.S., according to survey information from RVA Market Research (Tulsa, OK). The new data shows 15% of consumers with a direct fiberoptic connection indicated they had purchased an HDTV specifically to take advantage of programming available on that connection. Others reported purchases of wireless networking equipment, computers, inside home wiring, and cameras.

Acquisition grows OCP’s FTTH offering

Optical Communication Products (OCP; Woodland Hills, CA), a manufacturer of optical subsystems and modules, has agreed to acquire privately held GigaComm, a Taiwan-based supplier of passive-optical-network (PON) fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) components, in an all-cash transaction of approximately $20 million.

GigaComm is currently the leading supplier of FTTH modules in Japan, which is the world’s largest FTTH market. “GigaComm gives us instant penetration into the Asian market, as well as positioning OCP to take advantage of the emerging Gigabit PON (GPON) markets in North America and Europe,” said Dr. Muoi V. Tran, OCP’s Chairman and CEO. “The acquisition of GigaComm also gives us an enhanced ability to increase capacity through its integrated manufacturing facility, an important second and competitive source of lasers, and a talented pool of engineers and management in Asia.”

EU to fund ‘firewall on a chip’

European Union (EU) funding of $2.6 million has been announced for a three-year project to develop a reconfigurable photonic “firewall on a chip.” Called WISDOM, (WIrespeed Security Domains Using Optical Monitoring), the system will plug a major gap in the global data-network security armory-the lack of tools to implement security checks and algorithms directly at high optical data-communications rates. WISDOM is being developed by a consortium led by the U.K.’s Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP).

“Optical technology lies at the heart of the global electronic and computer-based communications systems on which we are all increasingly reliant,” says Graeme Maxwell of CIP. “But we are still reliant on conventional electronic tools for key functions such as legal intercept, flow classification, and performance monitoring. WISDOM technology will provide a scalable and robust solution to key issues of next-generation network security by allowing close inspection of optical data directly in the optical domain.”

Infinera targets next-generation Internet

Internet2 (Ann Arbor, MI) and Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) signed a wide-ranging agreement to support the development of next-generation Internet technology with more intelligence, bandwidth, and capabilities, including the testing and deployment of 40 to 100 Gbit/s services. The Infinera DTN is the first optical system based on large-scale photonic integrated circuits, with 50 optical components on a microchip smaller than a human fingernail.

Harsh-environment fiberoptics market to double

Electronicast Consultants (Tokyo, Japan, and Upper Lake, CA) released a market forecast study of the global Total Available Market (TAM) and consumption of fiberoptic components and the related devices and parts designed for harsh-environment applications. The global consumption of harsh-environment fiberoptic components as defined for this period, will nearly double from $1.09 billion in 2005 to $2.02 billion in 2009. The market value historically has been dominated by military/aerospace-qualified components, while commercial fiberoptic-component consumption is dominated by plastic optical-fiber links.

Also in the news . . .

Fujitsu (Tokyo, Japan) will open a European business support center for its optical communication components products based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in addition to an existing facility located in San Jose, CA. . . . The Fiber Optic Association (FOA; Fallbrook, CA), a nonprofit professional society of fiberoptics, has translated The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual into Spanish to promote the use of fiberoptics in Spanish-speaking countries. . . . Korea Telecom has ordered dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing access transport technologies from Novera Optics (Santa Clara, CA) to support 20,000 broadband customers, bringing the total number of Novera-supported lines to 100,000. . . . Arcapita Ventures committed to an $8 million equity investment to fund accelerating growth of Alloptic (Livermore, CA), a provider of passive optical access equipment for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) deployments. . . . Corning Cable Systems (Hickory, NC) has been listed by the Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) for its portfolio of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) products.

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