FIBER OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

After its announcement that it had acquired planar-lightwave-circuit maker Little Optics (Annapolis Junction, MD), Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of up to $150 million in common stock.

Infinera buys Little Optics, files IPO

After its announcement that it had acquired planar-lightwave-circuit maker Little Optics (Annapolis Junction, MD), Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of up to $150 million in common stock. The Little Optics acquisition is intended to advance Infinera’s digital optical-networking architecture, according to Infinera. Little Optics’ passive integration techniques for planar lightwave circuits are in the development stage and complement Infinera’s active large-scale photonic integration based on indium phosphide.

JDSU to acquire Picolight

Network equipment provider JDSU (Milpitas, CA) will pay around $115 million in stock and up to $10 million in cash to acquire Picolight (Louisville, CO), a developer and manufacturer of optical pluggable transceivers. Picolight’s technology strengthens JDSU’s ability to address the market for optical-interconnect applications in the data-center, enterprise, storage-area, and metro-networking markets.

Mike Ricci, senior vice president of JDSU’s optical communications group, said that the Picolight acquisition puts JDSU in an excellent position to serve existing and near-term requirements for 8- and 10-Gigabit network data management. “By adding to our vertically integrated photonics platform, we also will provide our customers a clear pathway and solid foundation to scale to 100 gigabits in the future,” he said.

Enablence opens FTTH volume production line

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) transceiver developer Enablence Technologies (Ottawa, ON, Canada) announced that its high-volume production line with Sanmina-SCI has become operational. “At the end of 2006, Enablence and Sanmina-SCI entered into a manufacturing agreement for diplexers and triplexers-today we are celebrating the opening of the Enablence production line,” said Arvind Chhatbar, CEO of Enablence. “Sanmina-SCI’s expertise in large-scale automated manufacturing of optical products, combined with Enablence’s planar lightwave circuit technology is the perfect combination for the high-volume, low-cost FTTH industry,” added Frank O’Reilly, vice president of Sanmina-SCI.

3M gift supports Clemson fiber fabrication

A gift from 3M of a modified chemical-vapor-deposition lathe worth almost $900,000 makes Clemson University (Clemson, SC) the only university in the U.S., and one of only a few in the world, to have industry-level optical-fiber fabrication capabilities. “The gift of the lathe is a tremendous asset to expanding our capabilities,” said John Ballato, director of the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) at Clemson. The laboratory also has a Heathway fiber-draw tower equipped with three interchangeable furnaces that can draw high-temperature silica materials and lower-temperature soft glasses and polymers.

The center currently holds, among others, a $1 million annual Department of Defense contract on high-power fiber lasers. With the backing of the J.E. Sirrine Textile Foundation and 3M, it also has been approved for a $10 million endowed professorship in optical fibers as part of the South Carolina Research Center of Economic Excellence Program.

Transmode WDM sales way up

Transmode (Stockholm, Sweden), a provider of coarse and dense wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) optical-network solutions, announced a record year for sales during 2006 with an increase in excess of 150%. Sales were primarily driven by a strong demand for optical networks for voice, broadband, and television services. The company’s turnover exceeded $50 million. “Our customer base has also increased by over 40% during the period,” said Rune Hurtig, CEO at Transmode. According to industry analyst firm Infonetics, Transmode was ranked within the top five metro WDM vendors in the EMEA region throughout 2006.

Also in the news . . .

The Opnext (Eatontown, NJ) initial public offering (announced in late 2006) raised $254 million for 16.9 million shares of Opnext at $15/share, far exceeding initial estimates of $150 million. . . . According to a study from FTM Consulting, part of the IGI Certified Report Series, a major shift is projected in the communications market by 2008, when, for the first time, fiber-cabling shipments are expected to exceed copper-cabling shipments. . . . In a new partnership, the FITEL brand of Furukawa America (Peachtree City, GA) fusion splicers and equipment now comprises the core of fusion splicer equipment offerings from 3SAE Technologies (Franklin, TN). . . . OpVista (Milpitas, CA) announced that 2006 customer shipments exceeded 255% year-over-year growth, attributable to the adoption of its OpVista2000 optical transport system among network operators. . . . Redfern Integrated Optics (Santa Clara, CA) achieved Telcordia compliance for its PLANEXTM planar-based external-cavity laser transmitter optical sub-assembly for transceiver module applications.

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