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More Optical Vendors Report Break-Ins

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/19/2000

Cyras is not the only vendor to have suffered a break in at a trade show recently (see Booth Bandit Burgles Cyras ). Booth burglars have hit two other optical networking outfits -- at the OFC trade show in Baltimore in March, and at this month’s Supercomm trade show in Atlanta.

“Kymata had a couple of [silicon] wafers stolen at the end of OFC. It must have taken the [thief] at least twenty minutes to unscrew the display pod,” says Brendan Hyland, CEO of Kymata Ltd. http://www.kymata.com. “This is a concern for the industry,” he adds.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Kymata was the target of curious criminals. The startup is backed by Vinod Khosla, the kingmaker VC whose patronage can virtually guarantee a company’s success (see Vinod Khosla). And it’s working on integrated optical circuits – one of the hottest new areas in networking.

Quantum Bridge Communications Inc.http://www.quantumbridge.com, a manufacturer of passive optical network (PON) equipment, says that posting an armed guard didn’t prevent an interloper gaining access to, and tampering with, its equipment at the recent Supercomm trade show in Atlanta.
Kymata says that the motive for the thefts is obvious. "Someone is clearly trying to reverse engineer our product," says Hyland. "There aren't that many suspects that stand to benefit from this kind of behavior, but we're not naming names because we don't want people to think that we are accusing anyone," he adds.

However, another crime victim questions how easy it is to replicate optical networking technology. “The [burglars] are boneheads because they can't reverse engineer [our components] this side of Area 51,” says Gary Clemenceau, director of corporate communications at Cyras http://www.cyras.com, refering to the theft from the Cyras booth at Supercomm this month.

-- Stephen Saunders, US Editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com.

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