Fiberoptics Industry Report

Infineon (Munich, Germany) may have changed its mind about selling its entire fiberoptics business to Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) in early January, but the company changed it back a few weeks later, at least in part, when the two companies entered into a definitive agreement for Finisar to acquire certain assets of Infineon’s Fiber Optics Business Unit based in Berlin, Germany, for around $50 million.

Finisar to acquire certain Infineon assets

Infineon (Munich, Germany) may have changed its mind about selling its entire fiberoptics business to Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) in early January, but the company changed it back a few weeks later, at least in part, when the two companies entered into a definitive agreement for Finisar to acquire certain assets of Infineon’s Fiber Optics Business Unit based in Berlin, Germany, for around $50 million. The acquisition involves the transfer of inventory, fixed assets, and intellectual property associated with the design and manufacture of fiberoptic transceivers, including a broad range of 10 gigabit transceiver designs for XPAK, X2, XENPAK, and XFP form factors. Infineon will retain ownership of its other businesses consisting of BIDI components for FTTH applications, parallel optical components, and plastic optical fiber components used in automotive applications.

In related news, Infineon announced plans to close three factories, in Berlin, Munich, and Longmont, CO, as part of a planned reorganization of its remaining fiberoptics business. According to the company about 350 employees will be affected.

Corning sees bright future in fiber-to-the-premises

While the overall telecommunications industry is showing some signs of improvement, Larry Aiello, Corning (Corning, NY) president and CEO, says he believes that a sustainable industry recovery will ultimately be led by strong customer demand for new service capabilities that systems such as fiber-to-the-premises enable. In fact, Corning expects any telecom recovery to be led eventually by development in the access segment of the network.

“By recovery, we mean a broad-based market improvement involving sustained construction by many customers in many regions,” Aiello said in a speech at the company’s annual meeting. “Throughout the world we expect broadband use to continue to grow as increased capability, combined with speed, drive system requirements.”

In North America, in particular, the access segment-network growth is being driven largely by the bundling of telephony, broadband access, and video. Corning asserts that optical is the best medium to provide this bundling of services, commonly referred to as “triple play,” over a common delivery platform.

“Optical communications’ inherent and demonstrable bandwidth far outstrips copper-based or wireless media. This means faster access speeds for customers and ‘future proofed’ networks for carriers,” Aiello said.

KVH wins patent for noise reduction in fiberoptic gyros

KVH Industries (Middletown, RI) has been awarded U.S. Patent 6,836,334, “Angle Random Walk (ARW) Noise Reduction in Fiber Optic Sensors Using an Optical Amplifier,” for its fiberoptic gyro (FOG) line. The invention includes a system and method for reducing a component of the ARW noise in a fiberoptic sensor. This reduction has the potential to increase the precision and accuracy of KVH’s family of FOGs, which are used in a wide variety of commercial and military applications.

“KVH continues to invest in research efforts such as ARW noise reduction in order to improve upon the performance and accuracy of our FOG products as well as build on our strong intellectual property position,” said Jay Napoli, director of FOG/OEM sales for KVH. “With high-volume production of the DSP-3000, single- and dual-axis DSP-4000s, and the TG-6000 inertial measurement unit (IMU) now in place, KVH continues to provide a wide range of affordable FOG solutions for the most demanding pointing, stabilization, and navigation applications.”

According to the company, the DSP design (covered by multiple patents, including U.S. Patent 6,429,939, “DSP Signal Processing for Open Loop Fiber Optic Sensors”) overcomes the limitations of analog signal processing, virtually eliminating temperature-sensitive drift and rotation errors.
Kathy Kincade

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at jaynesr@pennwell.com.

Also in the news . . .

OFS (Avon, CT) licensed its air-clad microstructured fiber patents and its broad family of fundamental optical-fiber grating manufacturing patents to NKT subsidiary Koheras A/S (BirkerØd, Denmark)to use. Koheras A/S has been producing fiber lasers since 1997 and has successfully expanded into higher power levels during the last couple of years. . . . Bookham (San Jose, CA) appointed ADM Electronics (Ra’anana, Israel) to distribute its components to Israel’s fast-growing telecommunications market. ADM will distribute all of Bookham’s telecommunications components, including its range of thin-film filters, EDFAs, XFP/SFP modules, and discrete transmitters and receivers.

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