x
Optical components

Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated?

The ghost of Lightwave Microsystems may be about to come back from beyond the grave.

When, in late September, the startup officially closed its doors, and put its fabrication facility up for sale on Dovebid, things looked pretty final (see Obituary: Lightwave Microsystems). But apparently not.

According to a reliable source close to the company, Lightwave Microsystems is about to be reborn. "The facility was not sold and has not been broken up," wrote a source in an email to Light Reading. "The team did not disband. Other than a new name and some new investors, Lightwave will continue to sell products and to lead this sector of the market (such as it is)."

Startup NeoPhotonics Corp. -- which, like Lightwave Microsystems, is developing Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWGs) and related components -- was rumored to have been negotiating to buy the assets of the defunct company (see Has Lightwave Micro Found a Buyer?). One source suggested the price was as low as $2 million, although exactly what NeoPhotonics was getting for its money wasn't mentioned -- the deal could have been for the fabrication facility only. NeoPhotonics declined to shed any light -- it continues not to return calls.

Last week, NeoPhotonics spun out its non-telecom-related business, which may signal a change in strategy resulting from being the reincarnation vehicle for Lightwave Microsystems (see NeoPhotonics Spins Out Medical Biz).

Drew Lanza, a founder of Lightwave Microsystems, couldn't comment on any possible deals. But he set the tone in a post to Light Reading's message boards: "We always get asked if Lightwave could have gone on a diet. Wrong analogy. Better to ask if the saber toothed tiger that was Lightwave could have transformed itself into a mouse. Not possible. Maybe through reincarnation…" (For the rest of Lanza's illuminating post, see Happy Thanksgiving!)

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 9:10:54 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? With no significant DWDM and Metro Optical deployments ,arrayed waveguide gratings (AWG),
fiber Bragg gratings (FBG), and thin-film filters (TFM); there does not seem to be a significant market.

Lightwave Microsysytems spent a lot of money and resources to build AWGs, but was largely unsuceesful. I do not see any usefulness in introducing another player at a time when the product demand has considerably diminished.
cyber_techy 12/4/2012 | 9:10:53 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? Author: BobbyMax Number: 1
Subject: Nothing to be Gained by Staging a Comeback Date: 12/14/2002 7:09:33 PM


With no significant DWDM and Metro Optical deployments ,arrayed waveguide gratings (AWG),
fiber Bragg gratings (FBG), and thin-film filters (TFM); there does not seem to be a significant market.

Lightwave Microsysytems spent a lot of money and resources to build AWGs, but was largely unsuceesful. I do not see any usefulness in introducing another player at a time when the product demand has considerably diminished.
================================================

Well, shame on them for not listening to your free advice
Drew Lanza 12/4/2012 | 9:10:34 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? BobbyMax:

Hi. It's me again. I hope you don't mind if I reply to your missive.

Three points:

1. You're right that the market for Lightwave's products pretty much doesn't exist today. If it did, then we wouldn't have gone through this painful reincarnation process we're going through.

2. We did spend a lot of time, money, and other resources to build Lightwave Microsystems over the past 15 years. But we didn't spend it to build AWG's. We spent it to build optical integrated circuits. The Lightwave fab is today able to build, qualify, and ship optical IC's based on PLC technology that include devices like switches, VOA's, splitters, combiners, taps, and quite a few more. All put together on a single substrate. Still no market, but I wanted to set the record straight.

3. It wouldn't make sense to introduce another player at this time. We're not. We're just keeping the old player going. Why? Because we were never, ever "largely unsuccessful" (at least on the technology and product side). We're the acknowledged world's leader in planar optical IC's (again, just ask Cisco, Lucent, or Nortel) and our customers depend on us. Still no market, but lots of design wins with customers who are hurting just as bad as we are. We've been shipping products to them for yours, and, God willing, will continue to do so for many years to come.

I've been in optical telecom for almost 20 years now. It's down, but never out. Even ice ages and deserts do not go on forever.

To all of Lightwave's customers out there, please keep the faith. The core team is still together and the fab is still intact.

And to think, that just a mere three months ago, I didn't believe in reincarnation!

Drew Lanza
Founder
BBBoa 12/4/2012 | 9:10:32 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? Drew,

In case you didn't know, BobbyMax is a complete moron. He criticizes everyone with absolutely no basis in fact. He's a disgruntled Lucent employee, sitting in a useless, do-nothing lab somewhere, wasting Lucent's time and money by spending his days commenting on message boards (think "Wally" from "Dilbert" only more cynical and you have a more clearer BobbyMax image).

I'd say approximately 99.999% of the readers on "Lightreading" ignore BobbyMax because they know he has zero credibility - so please Drew, do not take him seriously. Your time is infinitely more valuable.

BBBoa
lastmile 12/4/2012 | 9:10:31 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? All your messages have been extremely mature and meaningful.
I do not belong to the IT industry but as an individual investor with lots of my money (now almost worthless) in the fiber optics sector, I have been in touch with the latest news and LR gives me the chance to get a lot of information.
Your views are realistic and never biased. I wish you and your company tremendous success.
Sincerely,
lastmile.
Bill Johnson 12/4/2012 | 9:10:23 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? Lastmile,

You have written a post that I am in full agreement with. I do not know Drew personally but from what his peers have to say, he is the epitomy of a true professional and a gentleman. His postings have been very informative and insightful to the inner workings of companies in the tech sector. And, he is an exec. that is not AFRAID to use his real name. Bravo Drew!

I realize that you do not need, want, or require my opinions but for what it is worth, I suggest that you drop him a line to discuss potential opportunities of investment. Since he is a partner with Morgenthaler, he may be able to realy a helpful tidbit of info.
Drew Lanza 12/4/2012 | 9:10:18 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? Bill, lastmile, and BBBoa:

Thanks for the kind words. Let me know when next you're in town and the beers are on me. (By the way, BBBoa, are you a snake with a s-s-stutter?)

I realize that Bobby Max is a kvetcher, but he still makes some good points from time to time and I felt they were worth responding to.

I got dragged into optical telecommunications about 20 years ago, at the time of the AT&T breakup, by an old family friend who told me that it'd be an interesting ride. It certainly has. I've been unbelievably privileged to witness and to take part in the tumultous second half of the information revolution.

I've started 4 companies in this area and Lightwave Microsystems was by far the one I am most proud of. It was (is!) a hell of a company with some of the finest people I've ever known (John, Paul, Ferris, Martin, Ben, John K., Marc, Tony, Brete, ...) working for it.

There are a lot of structural problems within our industry right now. One of the things that always made it so much fun was its global reach. But, I guess, the bigger the ball of twine, the bigger the knot to untie. I'm still a believer, but I have to admit that 2003 will probably be pretty horrible and we may not get much more out of 2004. I don't know about you guys, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Drew Lanza
Founder
zli2g 12/4/2012 | 9:10:11 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? Bill Johnson wrote:
"I do not know Drew personally but from what his peers have to say, he is the epitomy of a true professional and a gentleman."

I had the fortune to talk with Drew at a seminar
in Stanford University. I also emailed an executive summary of our optics venture to him
afterwards and he actually replied. So, yes,
Drew is an easy-going, professional gentleman based on my brief conversation and email exchange with him.

Z Li
lllreader 12/4/2012 | 9:10:02 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? I don't know Drew Lanza, but a gentleman and true professional does not make fun of stuttering. Seems a bit immature to me.

realoptics 12/4/2012 | 9:09:55 PM
re: Lightwave Microsystems Reincarnated? I do not know Drew Lanza either, he could be a true gentleman and a professional. But seems to me it is a bit pathetic when he keeps bragging on how wonderful Lightwave Micro was, afterall the company is a major failure in the optical space: final exchange of a $2 million merger(or whatever the other company can afford) after $120-$130 million spent on the company, capitalism is about making money, not about blaming on the market, ice age, et al.
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE