Light Reading
The latest roundup from the world of comms components features funding news from Cisco.

Bit Parts: Cisco Funding Up for Grabs

Carolyn Mathas
News Analysis
Carolyn Mathas
5/5/2014
50%
50%

Money matters dominate the latest roundup of the technology, R&D, financial, and jobs news from the communications components sector, with Cisco leading the way.

  • Cisco Investments, the venture funding operation of the IP networking giant, is boosting the money it is making available to early-stage companies during the next few years by $150 million. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has a number of "themes" driving its investment decisions, and noted in its official announcement that chipsets, enabling technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT), storage, and analytics are all among its key focus areas. That's got to be good news for the components sector, right? Cisco Investments currently has a portfolio valued at more than $2 billion, and has more than 80 direct investments. (See Cisco Investments Gets $150M Boost.)

  • The wireless market is driving lots of new business for CommScope Inc. , which provides a broad range of sub-systems for fixed line, mobile and cable networks to systems vendors and network operators. The vendor just announced a 16% year-on-year increase in first quarter revenues to $935 million, driven primarily by increasingly demand in the US and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) for the company's mobile cell site and small cell distributed antenna solutions. For more details, see this earnings announcement. (See Capex Trend Points to Less Seasonality – Analysts, CommScope Raises Q1 Guidance on Wireless Strength, and The Case for Indoor Wireless Coverage .)

  • Optical components specialist JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) also just announced its latest financials, but its numbers were hit by "later-than-expected carrier orders." (See Capex Slowdown Slams JDSU.)

  • Fellow optical components vendor Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK), meanwhile, is experiencing "a bit of softness in our optical business," according to Chairman and CEO Joe Liu. In the company's fiscal third quarter, which ended March 30, revenues at $48.1 million were up from the $44.1 million of a year ago. However, non-GAAP net income of $0.3 million was down from $3.4 million a year ago. Find out more by reading the company's earnings report.

  • Amphenol Corp., which makes fiber connectors, interconnect systems, and coaxial and flat-ribbon cable, reported first quarter revenues of $1.25 billion and earnings per share before one-time costs (non-GAAP) of $0.99, up by 15% and 14% respectively compared with a year ago. See this financial statement for more details.

  • M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. has added 17 high-performance gallium nitride on silicon (GaN on Si) RF power transistors and amplifiers to its portfolio of products targeted at multiple sectors, including wireless infrastructure and defense communications. For more details, see this announcement. The new products are the direct result of the $26 million acquisition of Nitronex, a specialist designer and manufacturer of GaN-based RF solutions.

  • Embedded computing solutions specialist VadaTech has the mobile backhaul systems market in its sights with the launch of a MicroTCA Carrier Hub product that boasts advanced clocking/synchronization capabilities vital for the delivery of time-stamped services such as voice. (See VadaTech Unveils New MicroTCA Carrier Hub.)

  • The IEEE Photonics Society announced a call for papers for the 2014 IEEE Photonics Conference to be held October 12-16 in San Diego, Calif. It's looking for original technical presentations in lasers, optoelectronics, optical fiber networks, and similar topics. Hurry, though, if you want to submit a paper, since the deadline is May 9.

  • Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR), which develops optical technologies for all manner of broadband and video networks, unveiled the PB7220, a two-channel portable frequency domain terahertz spectrometer, which enables simultaneous phase coherent transmission and reflection measurements. A second channel allows a system to collect sample information at a variety of angles of reflection while continuing to monitor the transmission. The PB7220 series uses precisely tuned, fiber-coupled, semiconductor distributed feedback lasers and a highly advanced photo-mixing source for signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) of up to 70 dB/Hz across the scan range.

  • It's not every day that new R&D and manufacturing facilities are added, but that's exactly what components manufacturer Thorlabs Inc. is doing in Montreal as the company brings its global total of manufacturing sites to 13. The new facility, which will employ up to 40 staff, will develop and produce passive optical components specifically for medical imaging and advanced instrumentation in physical sciences. Thorlabs, which supplies a broad range of products to multiple vertical industries, including telecom, has expanded its business from its laser and electro-optics beginnings into semiconductor fabrication of Fabry-Perot, DFB, QCL, and VCSEL lasers, fiber towers for drawing glass optical fibers, MBE crystal growth machines, extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities, advanced thin film deposition capabilities, and more.

— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/5/2014 | 10:10:22 PM
Bit Parts: Cisco Funding Up for Grabs
Exactly, @FakeMitchWagner, I believe that Cisco sees the IOT market as their next "frontier" where they can claim and rule that space.  

Carolyn's list of investments aligns with that point in that they are clearly driving the IOT market - which, as you point out, will increase the demand for networking.

I wonder if anyone will, or can, challenge them in the networking arena, while they are pursuing IOT?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/5/2014 | 2:12:36 PM
Cisco go-go

Internet of Things is a major focus for Cisco as a whole, not just its investment arm. And why not? IoT will require huge amounts of networking. Likewise, storage requires networking to get data out where it's needed and back to storage, and analytics require networks to connect data. 

Cisco is in a similar position to Google — anything that increases usage of networks benefits the company, therefore the company can afford to put its fingers in a broad range of pies, some of them superficially unrelated to the core business. That's more obvious in Google's case: Robots? Self-driving cars?

Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed