Fiberoptics Industry Report

Jan. 1, 2003
Fitel files patent suit against Sterlite Optical ; Lumera wins contract extension for polymers ; Avanex consolidates operations ; MORE...

Fitel files patent suit against Sterlite Optical

Fitel USA (Atlanta, GA), the parent company of OFS, designer, manufacturer, and supplier of leading-edge fiberoptic products, has filed a lawsuit against Sterlite Optical Technologies (Norcross, GA) charging infringement of patents covering several optical-fiber technologies, including technologies fundamental to manufacturing optical fiber that exhibits low levels of polarization-mode dispersion. The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring further use of the patented technologies and damages for past infringement.

Lumera wins contract extension for polymers

Optical networking components developer Lumera (Bothell, WA), a subsidiary of Microvision, has been awarded a contract extension for approximately $1 million from the U.S. government to continue developing new electro-optic polymer materials for the fabrication of prototype wideband optical modulators that are expected to deliver increased bandwidth at very competitive costs while requiring less power than current devices.

Avanex consolidates operations

Avanex (Fremont, CA) is closing its 22,000-sq-ft facility in Richardson, TX, and reducing its domestic workforce by 140 to 150 people, primarily in manufacturing. The Richardson facility focuses on subsystem module design and related application engineering and customer services and includes Avanex's Photonics Center for customer optical-design modeling and application testing. All Richardson operations will be integrated into the Fremont facility, where the company is strengthening its focus on advanced optical subsystems and modules targeted toward the system integration, network, and access markets.

New initiatives draw optoelectronic firms to NEMI

New initiatives at the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI; Herndon, VA) include a number of photonics/optoelectronics projects as well as follow-on efforts in the lead-free assembly area. The new projects have attracted several new companies and boosted NEMI membership to an all time high. The new members include 3SAE Technologies (Woburn, MA), Aerotech World Trade (Maidenhead, England), Aurora Instruments (Ambler, PA), E2open (Redwood City, CA), LACE Technologies (St. Charles, IL), Nextrom Photonics (Morges, Switzerland) and Vytran (Morganville, NJ).

Opto Speed raises more money and new partners

Opto Speed (Rüschlikon, Switzerland) raised an additional (10 million (US$10.1 million) in its second round of financing, bringing the total second round investment in Opto Speed to (30 million (US$30.4 million). Opto Speed plans to use the funds to open a U.S. office, increase its sales and marketing activity, and support further research and development of 10- and 40-Gbit/s optical components, monolithically integrated optoelectronic devices, and other next-generation components. Opto Speed has also announced a regional distribution agreement with Broadtechs Electronics (Shanghai, China), as well as a cooperation agreement with Infomax Optical Technology (Taoyuan, Taiwan).

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news . . .

Oplink Communications (San Jose, CA) has cut 50% of its workforce and is shifting its engineering, R&D, and manufacturing to facilities in China. At the same time Oplink plans to further expand its integrated Optical Manufacturing Service (OMS) capabilities to meet the market demand for higher levels of integrated optical manufacturing. . . . Kestrel Solutions (Mountain View, CA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has gone through at least two rounds of layoffs this year, reducing its efforts in 40-Gbit/s development to focus most of its resources on 10-Gbit/s optical-transport tools. . . . Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA), recipient of Cisco's (San Jose, CA) annual Optics Manufacturing Award this year, is the first company to win Cisco optical supplier honors in consecutive years. . . . Sagitta (Hauppauge, NY) has raised $3.5million in a follow on investment to its January round of $15.3 million. . . . Alcatel Optronics (Paris, France), Hitachi Cable (Tokyo, Japan) and NTT Electronics (NEL; Tokyo, Japan) have announced a multisource agreement for thermally stabilized Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG) modules. . . . MEMS-based all-optical switching modules provided by OMM (San Diego, CA) have been integrated by ZTE (Shenzhen, China) into its UNITRANS metro telecommunications system. . . . Oki Electric Industry (Tokyo, Japan) has announced development of the world's smallest silicon-based microlens, allowing for mass-production of high-performance optical components at low cost for the metro and access-network markets.

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