Optics Industry Report

Jun 1st, 2002

by Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

OIDA to explore issues in photonics manufacturing
The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, DC) will turn its attention to design, automation, packaging, and standardization issues in photonics manufacturing at its next workshop, to be held at the Boston University Photonics Center (Boston, MA) June 19-20. The workshop, cosponsored by NIST, is primarily a roadmapping effort designed to supplement OIDA's ongoing efforts to strengthen the photonics-manufacturing infrastructure. The sessions will emphasize strategies for assuring reliability at low cost, design-for-manufacture methodologies, standardized packaging, and when and how to automate. Participants will also take part in breakout sessions designed to promote industry consensus on these key issues. Attendees are expected to include manufacturing and design managers across the supply chain who are interested in materials, new product design, manufacturing processes, standards, testing and assembly, and automation.


Neophotonics joins Ardesta company family
Ardesta (Ann Arbor, MI) and NanoGram (Fremont, CA) have entered a strategic relationship that will allow NanoGram to accelerate commercialization of nanomaterials in medical, energy storage, and other markets. As part of this broad relationship, Ardesta has made an equity investment in NanoGram's parent company, NeoPhotonics. NeoPhotonics is leveraging its proprietary nanomaterials platform to develop planar integrated optical components, while NanoGram is focused on applications for its intellectual property outside of telecommunications and photonics. Ardesta will work to identify and pursue applications for its core technology outside of the optical space. The partnership also includes cooperation on technical development and direction, as well as joint advisory-board status. "We made the decision to partner with NeoPhotonics because we believe that a combination of their unique process platform and our dedicated focus on small tech commercialization will bring to the market revolutionary applications for nanomaterials both inside and outside of the optical arena," said Rick Snyder, Ardesta CEO.


Cox Communications tests TeraBurst switch
TeraBurst Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced that Cox Communications (Atlanta, GA) has successfully completed testing of the TeraBurst OMS 2200 optical switch. The test cleared the way for deployment of TeraBurst's optical switches by the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Center for Immersive Telecommunications for Global Exchange in San Diego, for the first commercial use of the system. "The TeraBurst transparent OEO optical switch performed well in our testing, and provides the type of platform that can meet future needs in wavelength-level services," said Steve Gautereaux, vice president of network engineering at Cox Communications.


Lightconnect secures distribution partnerships
Lightconnect (Newark, CA) has secured distributor relationships for European and Chinese markets. The company will be represented by Laser 2000 throughout the major European markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden; by Staroptics Italia in Italy; and by ETSC (East Techno-Service Co.) in China. The representing distributors will also provide technical support for Lightconnect's products. "These new distribution agreements allow us to extend our market-leading offering on a global scale, as we continue to expand our product line," said Peter Clark, president and CEO of Lightconnect. "Many factors affect specification, performance, and cost, so it's important that customers are able to work with vendors and distributors who offer the highest level of service and technical support."


Also in the news . . .
A recent report by KMI (Providence, RI), "Fixed and Variable Fiberoptic Attenuators: A Worldwide Market Assessment," forecasts that the worldwide attenuator market will grow from $101 million in 2001 to nearly $600 million in 2006. During this period, variable optical attenuators (VOAs) will grow at a far more rapid pace than fixed attenuators, accounting for nearly 80% of the market's value in 2006. . . . Iolon (San Jose, CA) has announced the closing of an additional $7.6 million of Series C funding, bringing the company's total funding to date to over $85 million. . . . OMM (San Diego, CA) has announced that Lumentis (Stockholm, Sweden) has incorporated OMM's products into the optical crossconnect (OXC) functionality of their Mentis 3000 Metro system. . . . Sabeus Photonics (Chatsworth, CA) has announced the second closing of its latest funding round, bringing the total investment in this round to just over $21 million. . . . Sales from continuous operations at Newport (Irvine, CA) for its first quarter ended March 31 totaled $43.9 million, compared to $44.3 million in the previous quarter and $99.1 million in the same period one year ago.

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