Fiberoptics Industry Report

There has been much speculation in London about the future of former telecom industry giant Marconi (Coventry, England).

Huawei buying Marconi?

There has been much speculation in London about the future of former telecom industry giant Marconi (Coventry, England). Numerous sources are talking about ongoing discussions between Marconi and its Chinese business partner, Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China), which could result in Marconi being acquired by Huawei.

It is also rumored that Huawei will use the Marconi purchase to get a London listing, and that the deal could be finalized in a few months. This level of conjecture prompted an official comment from Marconi on Aug. 8. “As previously announced on May 3, 2005, Marconi Corporation is continuing to pursue all strategic options with the objective of maximizing shareholder value,’’ it said. “These options include, among a range of alternatives, discussions with third parties about potential business combinations. The discussions are at a preliminary stage, and there can be no assurance that an offer will ultimately take place.”

Optoelectronics aims at processor bottlenecks

With a goal of making the use of board-level optical interconnection in information systems practical and economical by developing optoelectronic packaging technology compatible with standard electronic assembly processes, the High-Speed Optoelectronic Memory Systems (HOLMS) project is scheduled to conclude in September. The 36-month HOLMS project was funded at a level of slightly more than €2.5 million ($3.1 million) under the European Union’s Fifth Framework Programme in optoelectronics. Project participants included Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland), Siemens (Paderborn, Germany), and Thales Communications and Supelec (France), among others.

“We’re seeing penetration of optics deeper into the ‘guts’ of the computer processor,” says senior researcher and HOLMS project contact John Snowdon at Heriot-Watt. “Because all-silicon photonic components are expensive, our approach in general is to combine the best of both worlds using optically ‘friendly’ materials such as gallium arsenide for active photonic components, novel polymers for waveguiding, and silicon for switching and logic.”

Anritsu to acquire NetTest

Anritsu (Kanagawa, Japan), a global provider of communication solutions, signed a definitive agreement to acquire NetTest (Copenhagen, Denmark).

NetTest has 480 employees and R&D locations in the United States, France, and Italy, and revenues of approximately $94 million for the year ending December 2004. NetTest has repositioned itself from an all-optical strategy to a network-performance strategy, has developed and launched a broad range of new products, and has won several new major telecom operator accounts.

Vishay plans CyOptics acquisition

Executives at Vishay Intertechnology (Malvern, PA) announced that Vishay Israel signed a Letter of Intent regarding the acquisition of the assets of CyOptics Israel, the Israeli subsidiary of CyOptics (Breinigsville, PA). CyOptics Israel. has a modern wafer fab in Yokneam, Israel, for the production of gallium arsenide and indium phosphide chips. Vishay plans to develop advanced products at this facility.

CyOptics recently acquired the optical business of TriQuint Semiconductor and is consolidating its production of indium phosphide lasers and detectors for broadband communication systems in its wafer fab located in Breinigsville.

Picolight completes $27.5M funding round

Picolight (Louisville, CO) completed a $27.5 million funding effort, with the addition of $14.5 million in a combination of new equity investment and debt financing. Picolight will use the investment to expand operations, scale its manufacturing process, and extend its 1310‑nm VCSEL products from 4-Gbit fiber channel to 10-Gbit Ethernet at long-reach over single-mode fiber. Picolight’s revenues and bookings for the past 12 months doubled year-over-year as the company continued to strengthen its product offering and expand its customer base.

Gail Overton

Also in the news . . .

Data and telecom networking-systems integrated-circuit (IC) specialist Phyworks (Bristol, England) has received certification for its laser driver post-amplifier ICs to relevant parts of IEC and EN60825-1 for the safety of laser products. . . . Total worldwide revenues for fiberoptic sensors are projected to increase from a current estimate of $288.1 million to $304.3 million in 2006, according to a soon-to-be-released report from Business Communications (Norwalk, CT). . . . Alloptic (Livermore, CA), a pioneer in the development and deployment of Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (GEPONs), announced that it has secured an additional $30 million in venture funding. . . . White Rock Networks(Richardson, TX), a provider of next-generation optical transport systems for metro networks, announced that it closed a “top up” funding round in which it raised $15.5 million from inside investors.

More in Research