Former JDSU CEO Straus to advise Enablence

OTTAWA, ON, CANADA-Jozef Straus-former CEO of JDS Uniphase (JDSU; Milpitas, CA) before and during the telecom boom period and an influential leader in the optical components industry-has agreed to become a strategic advisor to Enablence Technologies (Ottawa, ON, Canada) as the company builds its platform of planar lightwave circuit (PLC)-based fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) components.

OTTAWA, ON, CANADA-Jozef Straus-former CEO of JDS Uniphase (JDSU; Milpitas, CA) before and during the telecom boom period and an influential leader in the optical components industry-has agreed to become a strategic advisor to Enablence Technologies (Ottawa, ON, Canada) as the company builds its platform of planar lightwave circuit (PLC)-based fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) components.

“Enablence Technologies has been developing a product based on its proprietary technology that meets the performance and price points needed in the rapidly growing FTTH market,” Straus said. “The technology development and the growth of Enablence Technologies is a result of hard work, dedication, and ingenuity by a talented team.”

Though JDSU has scaled back its business significantly (evidenced by its just-over $2 share price at present, compared to its telecom-boom high of around $150), the drop in share price after the boom was much more a reflection of the downturn in telecommunications equipment spending than it was in the capabilities of its then CEO and co-chairman, Straus.

“Jozef was instrumental in making JDSU a success long before the telecom bubble-he was there from the beginning in 1981 as co-founder of Nepean-based JDS FITEL,” said Enablence president and CEO, Arvind Chhatbar. “We are flattered that he has joined our team. He understands the problems of moving from prototype to production and how to grow a company. In short, he can show us how to take care of the landmines before we hit one.”

Straus holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Alberta, Touro College in New York, and the University of Ottawa, and currently serves as co-Chairman of the Ottawa Hospital’s Legacy Campaign, a five-year $100 million capital campaign to raise funds for hospital equipment and medical research.

In addition to Straus, Enablence has also attracted Gary Bjorklund (former OSA and IEEE president) to its Advisory Board; clearly, the attention of such industry heavyweights is an indication that Enablence is offering more than a “me-too” component technology.

“Our proprietary PLC components are essentially the silicon-chip-based multiplexing engine of an optical modem for FTTH applications,” Chhatbar said. “Diplexers and triplexers are not new, but our technology-unlike claims from other PLC and arrayed-waveguide grating vendors-is the only ‘integrated’ solution that eliminates bulk optics including thin-film filters from the equation and significantly lowers end-user costs.” Chhatbar points out that other vendors can populate a six-inch wafer with perhaps 30-40 components (although still must rely on expensive processes to integrate discrete filters), whereas the Enablence process allows a 500-component density in a single 6-in. wafer.

Founded in 2004, Enablence was acquired by Pacific Northwest Partners in a reverse takeover transaction and became a publicly traded entity on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Shortly thereafter, Pacific Northwest Partners was re-named to Enablence Technologies to reflect the core business.

Though its primary focus is on the FTTH market, the company’s technology has also been applied to biological applications for the medical market. Earlier this year, Enablence completed the design and development of a microfluidic chip for biological detection jointly with Concordia University (Montreal, QC, Canada).

“Our proprietary dispersion bridge technology, which essentially separates two or three wavelengths in the case of FTTH diplexers and triplexers, can also separate out as many as 200 individual wavelengths for applications in biological analysis,” Chhatbar said. “We are excited about the future prospect of pursuing medical applications based on our platform dispersion bridge technology.”

-Gail Overton

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