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Optical/IP

Chorum Adds Four Veeps

RICHARDSON, Texas -- Chorum Technologies Inc. signaled that it’s renewing its run at the financial markets today by announcing four new hires: a securities lawyer, a business development manager, an engineering manager, and an operations boss (see Chorum Names Four VPs).

The new managers include: Ali Haider, vice president of engineering, formerly of Digital Lightwave Inc. (Nasdaq: DIGL); eighteen-year Lucent veteran Michael Decelle, who’s become Chorum’s corporate development boss; George Simpson Jr., formerly of DSC Communications, now Chorum’s operations boss; and Daniel Rabun, a former corporate securities lawyer at Baker and McKenzie, now Chorum’s general counsel.

Chorum originally filed for a $150 million IPO on Halloween last year, but the markets were too parlous for a company that had but one customer, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and no profits.

On Feb. 2, 2001, Chorum amended its SEC paperwork to include new customer-related information that, along with its recent hires, shows that the company is still itching to go public before midyear.

The firm’s products include DWDM subsystems and components such as optical filters, processors, and switches. The engine driving its products is liquid crystal technology, notable because it has no moving parts; but it hasn’t yet proven to be as fast as other commercially available technologies (see Chorum Makes A (Small) Splash In Optical Switches).

Chorum’s latest filing says it has shipped “pre-production or evaluation units” to several vendors, including: Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV), Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Marconi Communications PLC (Nasdaq/London: MONI), Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) Pirelli Optical unit, and Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR). Of course, there’s no guarantee these evaluators will buy Chorum’s products, but just getting into their labs is a big deal for a startup.

So far, Chorum’s only paying customer has been Nortel, which buys its Optical Slicer filters, suitable for upgrading DWDM systems.

As of the end of last year, Chorum had some $78 million in losses and isn’t likely to be profitable anytime soon. But the company’s growth rate, given a slowing economy, has been impressive. Between the end of 1999 and 2000, Chorum grew from 115 employees to 676. Its current headcount stands at about 750.

-- Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com
^Eagle^ 12/4/2012 | 8:52:00 PM
re: Chorum Adds Four Veeps LR, There are several inaccuracies in your article. Inaccuracies in the comments on customers and comments on technology.

Chorum does indeed have one very large customer: Nortel.

However, Nortel is by NO means Chorum's only customer. Chorum is shipping product into Marconi, Tyco, and others for deployment into commercial networks (not beta or samples...but volume supply agreements). There are a number of additional customers buying in smaller volumes...again, not betas' but product product being deployed into networks.

And indeed there are several more evaluating Chorum's products.

Regards Nortel being the largest customer...that is no surprise as Chorum's products are ideal for long haul and ultra Long Haul DWDM platforms...and Nortel has by far the dominat market share in those markets. It would be a bad sign if Chorum did not serve Nortel. Given they have won the business with the largest provider of 10G DWDM systems. And given that their product is a key interleaver in the Nortel 1600G platform, Chorum has positioned itself very very well.

As to technology inaccuracies, indeed Chorum has products based on Liquid Crystal. However, their interleaver is NOT based on LC. It is solid state but passive requiring no power or temp control. This solid state interleaver is the dominate supplier to the project that Avanex touts so loudly on their press releases regards Avanex wins at Nortel. Chorum is shipping 3 times the product volume into that application that Avanex is. They just don't toot their horn as loudly as Avanex. And JY Liu / Kwang Yi Wu were advocating the interleaver concept LONG before Simon at Avanex had thought of it...So be careful where you give credit for ideas.

The LC devices Chorum makes are for VOA's, small port count switches, and DGFF's. Regards the comment that their product is slow...be careful with your assumptions. Yes in general LC is considered slower than other solutions....your assumptions are off with regards Chorum. Their 1x2 and 2x2Add Drop switches are as fast as anything commercially available in the market today. typical switch speeds are in the 1msec range. VERY very few companies have a switch that is even close to that speed...mems can exceed it...but today all the switches in the network are mechanical (not Mems) and are slower than Chorum's. The VOA is also very very good.

So please do a little better investigation on your facts before publishing.

DCITDave 12/4/2012 | 8:51:45 PM
re: Chorum Adds Four Veeps sailboat,

you're pushing at an open door.

i've read the article again and, given context of the statements you've questioned, i see no mistakes.

give me a call if you disagree or if i'm missing your point: 817-922-8689.

thanks for reading.
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