NeoPhotonics acquisitions expand network offering

SAN JOSE, CA-Not only will it extend their product line for next-generation reconfigurable optical networks, but NeoPhotonics’ acquisitions of LightConnect (Newark, CA) and OpTun (Santa Clara, CA) makes them only the second component supplier in the world-besides JDS Uniphase (JDSU; Milpitas, CA)-that can offer the three principal technologies and architectures for reconfigurable metro and long-haul networks.

Jul 1st, 2006

SAN JOSE, CA-Not only will it extend their product line for next-generation reconfigurable optical networks, but NeoPhotonics’ acquisitions of LightConnect (Newark, CA) and OpTun (Santa Clara, CA) makes them only the second component supplier in the world-besides JDS Uniphase (JDSU; Milpitas, CA)-that can offer the three principal technologies and architectures for reconfigurable metro and long-haul networks.

“The attractive part of our companies coming together is that now, we can all combine our talents to offer the best solutions to our common system manufacturing customers rather than competing with them separately,” says NeoPhotonics president and CEO Tim Jenks. He adds, “Our acquisition of Lightwave Microsystems in 2003 and our merger with Photon Technology in 2005, along with the current acquisitions, indicates our desire to grow our system offering both organically and through external acquisitions when appropriate.”

“OpTun and NeoPhotonics have similar technologies,” adds Jenks, “but while NeoPhotonics is vertically integrated, OpTun offers a fabless business model but with an expanded supply chain.” “LightConnect has a different core technology-MEMS-which adds switching and the ability to route individual channels, opening up a range of network solutions that we could not offer previously.” He concludes, “Our customers should anticipate seeing unique, integrated network solutions from the strengthened NeoPhotonics portfolio early next year.”

Lightconnect, a manufacturer of micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS)-based components and modules for fiberoptic communications including variable optical attenuators (VOAs) and dynamic channel equalizers (DCEs), and OpTun, a developer of planar lightwave circuit (PLC)-based reconfigurable optical add drop multiplexers (ROADMs), offer two different product portfolios that can combine with the passive PLC products from NeoPhotonics to enable truly “integrated” and therefore, lower-cost, more simplified products. NeoPhotonics calls this integration of active semiconductor, passive PLC, and MEMS switching functions into a single product a “long sought-after” goal of telecom equipment providers, to be accomplished with the help of nanomaterials and nanoscale design and fabrication technologies.

“Several different ROADM architectures are currently being deployed in next-generation networks, but they are all made up of the same basic ‘building block’ functions, such as optical switching, dense wavelength-division multiplexing multiplexers/demultiplexers (DWDM MUX/DMUX), power balancing and monitoring,” stated Dr. Ferris Lipscomb, VP of Marketing at NeoPhotonics. “The only way to achieve the high performance required by advanced networks at an economically viable cost is through optical integration.”

In conjunction with the acquisition of LightConnect and OpTun, NeoPhotonics announced completion of an equity financing of more than $50 million. New investors International Finance Corporation, Needham Capital Partners, DuPont Capital, Shanghai Industrial Holdings, and Mitsubishi Capital joined existing investors Oak Investment Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ATA Venture Partners, Masters Capital, Harris & Harris Group and others in the financing. In a related move, NeoPhotonics has further strengthened its position in MEMS technology through the acquisition of 25 MEMS patents from MEMX (Santa Clara, CA and Albuquerque, NM).

NeoPhotonics maintains headquarters in San Jose, CA and ISO 9001:2000-certified engineering and manufacturing facilities in San Jose and Shenzhen, China. -GO

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