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 Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Amazon Eyes Ad-Supported Video – NY Post
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed