Fiberoptics Industry Report

July 1, 2004
OFC and NFOEC to merge; DARPA award funds optical router advances; Bookham to buy Onetta for $23 million; MORE...

OFC and NFOEC to merge

The executive management of the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) are combining the two events into a single conference and trade show, OFC 2005. Telcordia Technologies has turned over assets and management of its NFOEC event to OFC. The stand-alone NFOEC meeting, originally planned for Sept. 12–16, 2004, in Anaheim, CA, will not be held. Instead, it will take place in combination with OFC in 2005, and Telcordia Technologies will continue to offer recommendations on programming content and audience outreach together with OFC management.

OFC 2005 will take place March 6–11, 2005, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The OFC event is managed by the Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.) and cosponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society.

DARPA award funds optical router advances

A team of researchers in industry and higher education, led by a group at the University of California–Santa Barbara, has been awarded $6.3 million by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Microsystems Technologies Office for the first phase of research to develop new technologies to advance optical router capacity. Subsequent optional research phases may raise the total to $15.8 million. The team expects to develop and demonstrate all-optical technologies and systems that route data packets with no optical-to-electrical conversion. The team, known as LASOR for label-switched optical router, includes researchers from Agility Communications (Santa Barbara, CA), Calient Networks (San Jose, CA), Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA), JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA), Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), and the University of California–Santa Barbara.

Bookham to buy Onetta for $23 million

Bookham Technology (Oxfordshire, England) is acquiring Onetta (Sunnyvale, CA), a provider of optical amplifier modules and subsystems for communications networks. Specifically, Onetta designs and manufactures intelligent erbium-doped fiber amplifiers for optical networks. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of June.

Under terms of the agreement, Bookham will acquire the entire issued share capital of Onetta in consideration for the issue of 27.6 million Bookham ordinary shares to the Onetta shareholders at closing, which, as of May 21, had a value of £13.0 million (US$23.3 million). As part of the agreement, Onetta shareholders have agreed to discharge liabilities of the company of approximately $6.0 million. In the first quarter of 2004, Onetta generated revenues of $3.3 million and made a loss of $2.1 million. The value of the net assets being acquired as at the end of the quarter was $7.5 million.

Scottish O/E design center opens

Optocap (Livingston, Scotland), a design center established to provide a critical link in the commercialization of Scottish microelectronic and optoelectronic research, is open for business. Established by economic development agency Scottish Enterprise and jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the £4 million center provides a major boost for Scotland's growing optoelectronics industry, according to David Ruxton, Optocap chief executive. The Scottish Optoelectronics Association will participate in developing the center, which will specialize in processes to arrange the delicate circuitry in the protective packaging that allows optoelectronic devices to interface and connect to external networks via optical fibers and electronic connections.

Among those companies already partnering with Optocap are Conjunct (Edinburgh, Scotland), which is using the center's facilities to help develop an optoelectronics device that will address the inherent deficiencies of electrical buses by using a serial optical bus, and MicroEmissive Displays, which is using the Optocap center to help design the manufacturing process for one of its devices.

Also in the news . . .

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has acquired E2O Communications (Calabasas, CA) for $60 million in cash. Through this purchase, JDS Uniphase expects to strengthen its position in the optical data-communications market. . . . Gennum (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) has purchased intellectual property and product-related assets associated with SiGe Semiconductor's (Ottawa, Ontario) LightCharger portfolio of optical networking ICs. . . . Continuum Photonics (San Jose, CA) and EdenTree Technologies (Camarillo, CA) have formed a strategic partnership to develop integrated solutions for optical test, combining Continuum's DirectLight IG switches with EdenTree's Connect_ET client/server software.

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