Fiberoptics Industry Report

July 1, 2003
Opnext opens R&D center in Japan; Mediscience forms prostate cancer diagnosis subsidiary; Civcom and Xlight join forces for optical networking; MORE...

Opnext opens R&D center in Japan

Opnext (Eatontown, NJ) has established an Advanced Optical Device Development Center (AODC), a research and development facility, in Totsuka, Japan. The center will focus primarily on advanced optical devices for next-generation optical networks, utilizing the skills of engineers from both Opnext and Hitachi's Central Research Laboratories (CRL). New optical devices developed at AODC will be utilized within Opnext's modules for distances ranging from short reach to long reach, with speeds from 2.5 to 40 Gbit/s.

Mediscience forms prostate cancer diagnosis subsidiary

Mediscience Technology (Cherry Hill, NJ) has established a subsidiary intended to focus on the development of an optical-fiber-based system for the noninvasive diagnosis of prostate cancer. The new company, Proscreen, will initially embark on a three-phase project; in phase 1, Proscreen will evaluate the imaging technique to select the best imaging method for the device design. In phase 2, the company will design the device and build a prototype spectral-polarization imaging unit with an optical fiber probe. In phase 3, Proscreen will assist in a clinical test with a medical collaborator such as Hackensack University Medical Center and modify the unit based on the results.

Civcom and Xlight join forces for optical networking

Civcom (Reston, VA), a developer of fast optical switches, and XLight Photonics (Tel Aviv, Israel), a provider of tunable 10-Gbit/s transponders, have agreed to merge. Civcom developed the industry's first ultrafast solid-state optical switch, while XLight pioneered the first small size widely tunable 10 Gbit/s 300-pin MSA transponder. "The technologies of our two companies present a unique opportunity to offer new ways to improve the ROI of optical networks," said David Mendlovic, founder and CEO of Civcom.

Former Corning scientists to form research center

Four former Corning scientists have been awarded ¤11.1 million (US$13 million) to set up a photonics research center at University College Cork, Ireland. The award is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland. The four-year project will cover ultra-high-speed communications, optical data routing, and optical information processing. The team is being led by David Cotter and includes Andrew Ellis, Robert Manning, and Paul Townsend, all of whom worked at BT Labs in Ipswich before joining Corning in 2000.

Virtek changes course of FONA business

Virtek Vision International (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), a developer of fiberoptic nucleic acid (FONA) technologies for use in genomic applications, has eliminated all 12 of its FONA-related positions as the company refocuses on its core laser solutions business in other applications. According to Bob Sandness, president and CEO, the decision is consistent with the previously announced strategy to exit the biosensor market. The company continues to seek alternatives to realize the value of its remaining FONA assets, which include a fluorescence-based fiberoptic biosensor and a laser-based detection system to provide selective analysis of any genetic material. Initial medical applications include testing newborns for genetic disorders; initial industrial applications include testing water quality.

MEMSCAP partners with GalayOr for digital VOA

MEMS developer MEMSCAP (Grenoble, France) is partnering with GalayOr (Tel Aviv, Israel), a provider of all-silicon optical system-on-a-Chip, to develop a new generation of optical products, starting with an integrated closed-loop digital variable optical attenuator (DVOA). This DVOA for telecommunication systems and subsystems, developed after several years of research by GalayOr and based upon its silicon photon interconnect technology, will be available for sampling at MEMSCAP starting in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Also in the news . . .

kSaria (Wilmington, MA) has selected TeraComm (Guilford, CT) as its exclusive manufacturer's representative in the eastern region of the United States for its optical fiber assemblies. . . . Arroyo Optics (Santa Monica, CA) has appointed Hatch Graham as interim CEO and president. Graham brings more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications startups and other public companies and is currently chairman and CEO of Bandwidth9 (Fremont, CA). . . . Michael Sonaco has been named director of sales and marketing for APA Optics (Minneapolis, MN). Sonaco has more than 20 years of experience in the communications industry, most recently as president and CEO of C&L Communications.

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