Iolon's Alright

Rumors are rife that a couple of laser startups are struggling for survival, but Iolon Inc. says it's enjoying a recovery.

CEO John Clark says there's been a big shift in attitude towards Tunable Lasers. They're now being used in nearly all new DWDM deployments, which has led to healthy order books for Iolon, he contends.

Some of these orders no doubt stem from Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), which is using Iolon's tunable lasers in its LambdaXtreme DWDM platform (see Iolon, Lucent Team on Tunable Optics). Lucent recently announced that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was using this platform for a nationwide network targeting enterprise customers (see Lucent Lands Lambdas at Verizon).

Clark declines to comment on the Verizon contract, but hints that this is only one of a number of RBOC projects generating orders for Iolon tunable lasers.

This state of affairs might explain why Iolon has recently succeeded in raising extra funding. Clark says the round was over-subscribed by existing investors, but he refuses to say how much was raised. "Our customers are happy and we've got plenty of money, and that's all we care about," he says.

But was it only a $3 million round? Clark says that Iolon's total funding amounts to less than $90 million. However, in an April 2002 press release, the company said its total funding it was "over $85 million." (See Iolon Grabs $7.6M Funding, $9M Credit.)

All the same, Iolon appears to be in a healthier position than one of its competitors, Agility Communications Inc. Rumor has it that the company is struggling with manufacturing problems, is having trouble raising money, is up for sale, and had a sizeable layoff about a month ago. Agility's chairman and CTO, Larry Caldren, had not responded to phone and email requests for comment at press time.

Rumors are also circulating that another troubled laser startup, Bandwidth9 Inc., is on its last legs. Similar rumors have circulated several times before, and proved to be false (see Bandwidth9 Goes Dark and Bandwidth9 Thinks Shorter). As previously, CEO Hatch Graham is not taking calls on his cell phone or replying to email.

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading

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alcabash 12/5/2012 | 1:23:23 AM
re: Iolon's Alright What's happening at Santur ?
Balet 12/5/2012 | 1:23:18 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Santur is alright, no need to mention here.
Vent 12/5/2012 | 1:23:12 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Santur appears to have some agreement with JDS
as there laser is used in the JDS integrated transmitter

But what about the other tunable manufactuers
Bookham I'd heard rumours that the tunable that Marconi were developing has been canned.
Princeton optronics I had heard they were stuggling but they got that Navt contract.
Pirelli Lads I hear is opening a new production line for the tunable they developed.
O and of course let's not forget INTEL who knows how the are doing

Strange but the japenese don't have anything in production yet.
Balet 12/5/2012 | 1:23:10 AM
re: Iolon's Alright I don't think Intel is developing their own tunable laser but rather selecting a tunable laser manufacturer out of 3.5 remained.
sunra 12/5/2012 | 1:23:09 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Intel's tunable is courtesy New Focus.
Vent 12/5/2012 | 1:23:09 AM
re: Iolon's Alright intel's tunable laser

Balet 12/5/2012 | 1:23:09 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Right.

The question is, then, why Intel is talking to all tunable laser companies, looking for a good TL?
sunra 12/5/2012 | 1:23:06 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Dunno. I thought the New Focus widget was one of the better TLs out there. They use it in their tunable 300-pin transponder.
Balet 12/5/2012 | 1:23:05 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Let me ask my old new focus founders-friends.
Vent 12/5/2012 | 1:22:59 AM
re: Iolon's Alright Intels technology is all micro-optic and is quite a complicated external cavity design, looks expensive.
Would Intel as a semiconductor company be looking at a more integrated tecnology where it could use it's fab process technology ?

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