JDS Uniphase expands portfolio with Photonic Power

JDS Uniphase is proving true to its publicly stated intentions a few months ago to broaden is its base in commercial lasers by investing in growing markets for those lasers.

Jun 15th, 2005

SAN JOSE, CA - JDS Uniphase is proving true to its publicly stated intentions a few months ago to broaden is its base in commercial lasers by investing in growing markets for those lasers (see Laser Report, April 1, 2005). The company’s latest acquisition is Photonic Power Systems (Cupertino, CA), a provider of photonic power for the delivery of power over fiber. All eight of Photonic Power Systems’ employees will transition to JDS Uniphase’s corporate offices and will form the nucleus of JDSU’s Photonic Power Business Unit, led by Jan-Gustav Werthen, founder and CEO of Photonic Power Systems. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We’re excited about the expanded market opportunities created by this acquisition,” said David Gudmundson, vice president of corporate development for JDS Uniphase. “In the long run, we believe customers will include an attractive mix of existing JDS Uniphase communications customers in established sectors such as wireless, and new, diverse industrial customers in applications like remote power and sensing.”

According to the companies, photonic power is a power delivery system whereby light from a laser source illuminates a highly efficient photovoltaic power converter to produce electrical power. Photonic power replaces copper and batteries for remote sensors, coaxial cable in wireless applications, and oil or gas-filled measurement transformers in high voltage applications. It delivers isolated power that is immune to RF, EMI, high voltage, and lightning.

“JDS Uniphase is acquiring a potentially disruptive technology,” said Vincent Lui, an analyst with industry research firm IDC. “The technology is not incremental, it is a completely novel approach to power delivery in specialty applications. Moreover, Photonic Power Systems has a proven history, strong intellectual property in the area of fiber optic photonic power conversion, and core technology that aligns well with JDS Uniphase’s technology base.”

Photonic Power Systems’ technology can be leveraged across multiple markets, including medical, wireless communications, electrical power, industrial sensor, and aerospace applications. More than 10,000 units have been deployed to date, serving more than 50 customers.

“Photonic power has allowed us to easily transition our TV broadcast facilities from analog to digital transmission,” said Yoshikazu Toba, manager of the Ubiquitous Devices Development Division/Networking Devices Operations Unit of NEC TOKIN Corporation. “We intend to utilize this innovative power source for other applications as well including EMI testing of commercial electronics and automotive systems.”

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