Sweden Invades OFC
Stockholm-based Optillion AB could be about to add a new item to the list of Swedish national stereotypes: high-quality 10-Gbit/s Ethernet transceivers.
Optillion hopes to distinguish itself at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibit (OFC) this year, where it will show off its newest 10-gig transceiver, the TOP 5010. The device is aimed at storage area networking (SAN) and metro optical systems vendors whose equipment requires data transmission up to 40 kilometers (see Optillion Unveils TOP Transceivers).
Optillion's transceivers follow the Xenpak [Ed.note: Isn't this the planet Mork came from?] multisource agreement (MSA) requirements, which means their transceivers will have the same look, feel, and basic functionality as those of their competitors -- which include Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), OpNext Inc., Blaze Network Products Inc., and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).
One difference, according to Optillion CEO Patrik Evaldsson, is that Optillion can bring down the cost of its transceivers because it provides its own components but outsources much of its manufacturing. Evaldsson says Optillion also builds products using interchangeable modules. This has allowed Optillion to develop a 40km product using many of the same parts as its previously announced 10km transceiver, the TOP 3010, he says.
The company also says its transceivers require significantly less power to operate than the Xenpak agreement requires.
But will it be enough to cause a systems vendor to pick Optillion over a larger company such as Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR) and Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A)? "It helps to have the larger companies out there adding credibility to the Xenpak transceiver market," says Evaldsson, showing that he's a man who knows how to find the silver lining in any cloud. "But we have to work to differentiate ourselves, and the 5010 is a key product for us in that regard." (See Sizing Up Xenpak .)
Optillion employs abut 105 people and operates a 15,000-square-foot facility in Stockholm. The company says it will ramp to volume production for both of its products by year's end.
Optillion's most recent round of funding, worth $53 million, including an investment by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), closed in late 2000 (see Cisco Invests in Transceiver Startup).
In other news, Sweden placed 20th in the medal table in this year's Winter Olympics. Plucky Magdalena Forsberg picked up a brace of bronzes in the women's biathlon.
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on OFC 2002, please visit: www.nottheofc.com