FIBEROPTICS - INDUSTRY REPORT

Further expanding its data-equipment portfolio, Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) has acquired Nextabit Networks (Marlborough, MA), a maker of multiterabit-rate Internet protocol wide-area-network switching and routing equipment. The transaction is worth approximately $900 million, which was the closing price of 14 million shares of Lucent common stock on June 24. The two companies have had an agreement to integrate Lucent's dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing optical components into

Lucent Technologies acquires Nextabit

Further expanding its data-equipment portfolio, Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) has acquired Nextabit Networks (Marlborough, MA), a maker of multiterabit-rate Internet protocol wide-area-network switching and routing equipment. The transaction is worth approximately $900 million, which was the closing price of 14 million shares of Lucent common stock on June 24. The two companies have had an agreement to integrate Lucent's dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing optical components into Nextabit products. CEO and founder of Nextabit Mukesh Chatter will join Lucent as Advanced IP Core Technologies vice president in the InterNetworking Systems Group.

PK Technology and York Sensors bought by GN Nettest

A new company, GN Nettest Optical Division, will be formed as the result of the purchase of PK Technology (Beaverton, OR) and York Sensors (Romsey, England) by GN Nettest Fiber Optic Division (Utica, NY). The move positions the new company to control a greater market share and compete more effectively in the global optical-testing market. According to Erik Nielsen, vice president of business development and acting president of the Optical Division, the acquisition of PK Technology strengthens this goal, while the acquisition of York Sensors brings in distributed temperature-sensing products for a variety of industries.

Optical-amplifier conference highlights advances

The attendance of 280 at the 10th Optical Amplifiers and Their Applications Topical Meeting (June 9-11; Nara, Japan) was a far cry from the first topical meeting held in Monterey, CA, which drew 12. Alan Willner from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) called the optical amplifier the engine that drives wavelength-division multiplexing and reflected on performance improvements that allowed transmission speeds to increase from 30 bit/s 10 years ago to 3 Tbit/s announced recently. Haruo Okamura from NEC Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) described ongoing standardization efforts underway by the International Telecommunications Union and other organizations.

Polaroid licenses its DWDM patent to PIRI

Polaroid (Cambridge, MA) has licensed a patent that aids dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) to Photonic Integration Research Inc. (PIRI; Columbus, OH). The technology for an integrated planar optical star coupler is a critical element of PIRI's arrayed waveguide grating DWDM products. Polaroid has also licensed the star coupler to other telecommunications companies, including AT&T Corp. (New York, NY) and Hitachi Cable (Tokyo, Japan), and is in negotiations with several more. The company wants to focus on its instant photography business.

Kymata buys new facility, prepares to ship samples

After obtaining sufficient funding, Kymata (Livingston, Scotland) has acquired a nearby facility to establish its wafer-fabrication process. The new building has been designed for high-technology manufacturing and will house the company's R&D, wafer-fabrication, IC assembly and packaging, marketing, sales, and support functions. A 570-sq m (6000 sq ft) cleanroom will be built; design samples have been produced at the facilities of two investors: British Telecommunications and University of Glasgow. Kymata plans to make planar optoelectronic building blocks for wavelength-division-multiplexing networks.

Also in the news . . .

The shareholders of both JDS Fitel Inc. (Nepean, Ont., Canada) and Uniphase Corp. (San Jose, CA) voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposed merger of the two companies. . . . Hewlett-Packard (HP; Palo Alto, CA) and Ando Electric Co. (Tokyo, Japan) signed a three-year contract to jointly develop and market test instruments for the DWDM and SONET/SDH functional test markets. . . . NP Photonic Technologies (Tucson, AZ) has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award from the US Department of Defense worth $750,000. . . . As a result of a joint equity investment by Madeco S.A. (Chile) and Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY), a new company-Ficap Optel Ltd. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)-will manufacture optical-fiber cables to be sold in South America, primarily Brazil.

W. Conard Holton

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