Light Reading
Dr. Yang says her new startup's technology could drastically shorten development time for optical switch makers

Dan Yang's Next Big POP?

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/2/2001
50%
50%

When fiber optic amplifier maker AFC Technologies was bought by JDS Uniphase Inc. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) in September 1999, many questioned what the founder and CEO, Dr. Dan D. Yang, would do next.

"Everyone... in EDFA knows her," one admirer wrote to Light Reading. "[W]ho can make [millions] all by herself, no VC, no backing, no partner, no record, nothing? Answer: the queen."

It's easy to see why Yang inspires a cult-like following. A physicist born in China and educated there and in Europe, she overcame enormous obstacles to start her own L-band amplifier company in Canada in 1997 -- then sold it to JSDU two years later.

Yang is credited with bringing the L-band amplifier to market ahead of others between 1997 and 1999. She developed the device largely on her own and single-handedly peddled it at tradeshows and conferences until it caught the attention of large component players. Lacking the means to expand her company quickly enough to beat the competition, she opted to sell her technology to JDSU for $40 million, then try her hand at another startup.

That startup, DowsLake Microsystems Inc. is still in its first stage of development in Santa Clara, Calif. But there's nothing stealthy about it. Instead, Yang speaks openly about what the firm is up to -- specifically, creating a generic card that can manage wavelengths in a range of optical devices, including edge and core switches.

The card, dubbed a programmable optical processor, or POP, aims to integrate a raft of optical functions. It will pack DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) amplifiers, monitors, and attentuators into one card, ready to plug into an optical switch. Accompanying software will allow vendors to program the POP to fit the device. The card itself will be made to fit into a range of form factors.

Such a device could save developers considerable time and effort in setting up the basic building blocks of a DWDM system, Yang says. "The primary development cycle for integrators is at least one year, more often one and a half to two years," Yang asserts. "Now they'll be able to plug in our card and skip all that."

In clarifying the role of the POP, Yang is careful to stress what it is not. It isn't a semiconductor chipset or a network processor, she says, nor does it perform any electrical-to-optical conversions.

Yang gives an example of how the POP might be used: If a DWDM switch vendor wanted to offer its customers the ability to switch wavelengths from one location to another, it would write an interface between its DWDM lasers and the POP (using the APIs provided with the POP). Subsequently, if a carrier using the box wanted to reassign a lambda from a faraway city to one closer to the switch, that customer could select a request in the interface, and the POP would attenuate the lambda to fit the distance to the shorter city.

Yang says DowsLake's POP differs from technology being developed at other startups because it manages wavelengths in both transmission and reception. Other companies, she says, are developing products targeted at one direction or the other.

Yang and her team have filed a patent on the POP. They expect to release a prototype this summer -- about the same time they hope to announce a second round of funding. (A first round of $5 million was obtained in October 2000 from Storm Ventures, the eGarden Fund, and Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, along with some individual investors.)

DowsLake's first product will support channels at 1550 to 1560 nanometers and feature amplification, monitoring, and attenuation. On the downside, potential customers will have to wait for the built-in ability to switch between wavelengths. That capability will be added to the POP several months later, Yang says.

Yang says DowsLake is up to 20 employees at present, nearly all of them engineers. The management team includes Himanshu Vaishnav, director of business development (ex-Opthos, High Speed Networks, and CellAccess Technology); Michael Musiel, chief architect (ex-K.W. Muth, US Robotics, Darome Teleconferencing); Reynaldo Evangelista, quality/operations manager (ex-Creative Technology, Thomson Television, Sharp Electronics); and Rol Williams, corporate secretary and counsel, who's also an attorney at Wilson Sonsini et al. Sanjay Subhedar of Storm Ventures (ex-E-Tek Dynamics and Stratacom) and John Zhao of eGarden Fund (ex-Vadem Ltd. and Infolio, both wireless companies) serve on DowsLake's board.

Despite the publicity surrounding her selling AFC to JDSU, Yang seems reluctant to get back into the limelight at this point. "As far as myself," she wrote to Light Reading recently, "it's not very appealing anymore to be under the spotlight."

Dr. Dan D. Yang -- Mary Jander, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
dowslake
50%
50%
dowslake,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: Dan Yang's Next Big POP?
Dowslake designs, develops and markets smart network building blocks from Ethernet to WDM for optical networks. We provide protocol transparent optical amplification, wavelength aggregation, Sonet/SDH gateways, 10 Gigabit and Gigabit carrier Ethernet switches, and circuit emulation products. Customers are mainly in US and western Europe.

www.dowslakemicro.com
email to: info@dowslakemicro.com
henry@ss8.com
50%
50%
henry@ss8.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 8:47:02 PM
re: Dan Yang's Next Big POP?
Dr Yang's success is great news to all Chinese American. We also have another woman in SS8 who is from China and is quite successful in high tech. Maybe we should all gather together and form a forum?

Henry H. Wong
Founder Chairman CEO
SS8 Networks Inc.
San Jose, CA
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed