Fiberoptics Industry Report

Industry consolidation continues with two more mergers; New firm acquires Demeter assets from Finisar; Australian groups partner on optical communications; MORE...

Industry consolidation continues with two more mergers

Insensys (Hampshire, England), a provider of optical-fiber sensing solutions, acquired Indigo Photonics (Birmingham, England), a specialist in optical-fiber sensor systems and optical components based on fiber Bragg grating technology. Engineers from Insensys and Indigo Photonics have collaborated to develop a high-performance, cost-effective system for measuring distributed temperature and strain profiles using optical fibers as sensors.

"The technical strength of the Indigo team and their proven ability to deliver is key to future sensing capabilities for Insensys," said Martin Jones, CEO of Insensys. "The resultant unique blend of structural expertise and instrumentation expertise enables Insensys to deliver superior solutions to our customers."

In related news, Time-Bandwidth Products (Zurich, Switzerland) acquired GigaTera (Dietikon, Switzerland) in an all-cash transaction. GigaTera will collocate with Time-Bandwidth at the Technopark Business in Zurich and share the company's laser production infrastructure. The existing ERGO product line will be fully supported by GigaTera. Time-Bandwidth and GigaTera will continue to develop high-repetition rate lasers and multiwavelength source technology for emerging nontelecom and next-generation telecom applications.

New firm acquires Demeter assets from Finisar

DMG Technologies (Los Angeles, CA) was formed in July to acquire the assets and IP rights of Demeter Module Group from Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) in a privately funded transaction. DMG Technologies designs and manufactures optical subassemblies, including laser/PIN diodes and detectors, as well as bidirectional and combiner devices. These products are used in telecom, datacom, cable TV, and instrumentation systems. DMG is located in an 11,000-sq-ft clean-room facility in Industry, CA, under the direction of Malcolm McLean, president and CEO. McLean was formerly director of sales and marketing at thin-film manufacturer Auxora.

"DMG has an aggressive new product road map to address needs in a number of industries including sensors, biomedicine, spectroscopy, and government, as well as telecom and datacom," McLean said.

Australian groups partner on optical communications

A new collaboration between Australia's leading optical communications experts will pursue the development of photonic chips. CUDOS—the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems—has been established with A$11.5 million (US$7.6 million) from the Australian Research Council (ARC). The center is a collaboration between the University of Sydney, the Australian National University, the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO.

More than $40 million in cash and in-kind support will be provided by the ARC, the State Government of New South Wales, and the collaborators. Around 70 researchers will be involved in the research programs. ARC Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton has returned from a directorial position with Lucent Technologies to head the center at the University of Sydney.

Also in the news . . .

Fred Leonberger, chief technology officer at JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) for nearly a decade, has retired from the company to pursue other interests. Leonberger's career in optoelectronics dates back nearly 30 years. He spent 10 years at MIT Lincoln Lab, leaving there in 1984 to manage photonics development at United Technologies Research Center and then moving on to United Technologies Photonics in 1992. After UTP was purchased by Uniphase in 1995, Leonberger became part of the core team that built up the company, culminating in the merger with JDS. . . . Bookham Technology (Oxfordshire, England) and BTI Photonic Systems (Ottawa, Canada) have formed a technology, product, and commercial association to deliver optical subsystems. The association allows both companies to more rapidly introduce advanced optical solutions based on Bookham's portfolio of erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and optical add/drop multiplexer and BTI's Netstender family of intelligent link systems. . . . The board of directors of AXT (Fremont, CA), a manufacturer of compound semiconductor substrates and optoelectronic devices, has approved management's plan to exit the company's unprofitable optoelectronics business. The company ceased manufacturing operations at its optoelectronics division in August and expects to dispose of all manufacturing equipment through private asset sales, a public auction, or both by Dec. 31.

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