Fiberoptics Industry Report

Feb. 1, 2004
Optical-components market up 8%; ADC buys Marconi business unit; CyOptics wins optical-design patent; MORE...

Optical-components market up 8%

According to new research by RHK (South San Francisco, CA), revenues in the global optical component market were up 8% in the third quarter of 2003, underscoring the long-awaited stabilization of the market and confirming that the market is finally poised for growth. Revenues show a marked improvement—from $469 million in the second quarter of 2003 to $509 million in the third quarter.

On a rolling four-quarter basis, the market-share leaders changed dramatically. JDS Uniphase and Agilent are in a virtual tie for first place, with JDSU narrowly maintaining its lead with 15.2% market share. According to the report, JDSU's nearest competitors—Sumitomo (8%), Finisar (7.3%), Bookham (6.9%) and Infineon (6.7%)—offer limited competition today; each company sells $30 million to 40 million each quarter. Other market leaders include Mitsubishi, Furukawa, and Avanex. Companies with strong exposure to the datacom market, such as Infineon, Finisar, and Sumitomo, have seen the largest quarterly gains in market share.

ADC buys Marconi business unit

Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC; Petaluma, CA) signed a definitive agreement to acquire North American Access (NAA), a business unit of Marconi Communications, a subsidiary of Marconi, for $240 million in cash. The proposed transaction supports AFC's business strategy to expand its optical access portfolio, and enhance its ability to serve the demands and requirements of large telecommunications carriers. The transaction encompasses NAA's Bedford, Texas, facility and its employees. Completion of the transaction, is expected in the first quarter of 2004.

CyOptics wins optical-design patent

CyOptics (LeHigh Valley, PA), a developer and manufacturer of indium phosphide (InP) optical engines for fiberoptic communications, has been awarded U.S. Patent 6,661,587, "Confocal Optical Design for Optical Coupling." An embodiment of the patent is drawn to an optimum design of a two-lens arrangement used to couple the light emitting from a laser to an optical fiber in a laser package. This enables high coupling efficiency with relaxed requirements on the relative placement of the optical components by a factor of three compared to current industry acceptable practices.

New networking protocol demonstrated

Scientists at MCNC Research & Development Institute (Research Triangle Park, NC) and North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) have demonstrated an optical network-provisioning protocol designed to enable more efficient computing applications. The demonstration of the Just-in-Time (JIT) protocol for provisioning and managing light path connections in the all-optical Advanced Technology Demonstration Network in Washington, D.C., confirmed the viability of user-initiated, ultrafast provisioning of all-optical network connections and marked the transition of the JIT protocol from the laboratory to an operational network. The light paths linked host systems at the U.S. Department of Defense's Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences, the Naval Research Laboratory's Center for Computational Science and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The JIT protocol is intended to provide support to U.S. military and civilian researchers to solve real-world problems. In particular, the Naval Research Laboratory is interested in the protocol's ability to quickly set up and release tens, possibly hundreds, of gigabits of bandwidth for demanding, high-performance computing applications such as immersive real-time visualization of satellite imagery, computational fluid dynamics, ocean and weather modeling, and space physics.

Also in the news . . .

Agere Systems (Allentown, PA) acquired TeraBlaze (Cupertino, CA) for 6.92 million shares of Agere Class A common stock, valued at about $21 million based on a Dec. 31 closing price of $3.05. All 16 TeraBlaze employees will join Agere, including founder and CEO Shankar Mukherjee. . . . OEwaves (Pasadena, CA), a manufacturer of high-frequency signal sources and related components, has chosen Agilent's photonics manufacturing facility in Boeblingen, Germany, to package and manufacture OEwaves' patented fixed-tuned optoelectronic oscillators. . . . Silicon Optix (San Jose, CA), a fabless semiconductor company focused on the convergence of silicon and optics, completed an additional $18 million of funding to close its series B financing. Proceeds will be used to accelerate the development and launch of its next-generation digital video processing chips. . . . Lumera (Bothell, WA), a majority-owned subsidiary of Microvision, has been awarded a second contract extension for an additional $950,000 from a U.S. government agency to continue development of high-performance electro-optic polymer materials and devices for wideband optical modulators. The award brings the total funding for development work from this agency to about $3.5 million.

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