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Optical components

Oplink Plucks RedClover

Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK) this morning announced a deal to acquire startup RedClover Networks Inc. for the bargain-basement price of $250,000 in cash.

Oplink would also pick up liabilities and "other costs" totaling $1.3 million, so this could be considered a million-dollar deal. The transaction is expected to close in November.

All 25 of RedClover's employees have been offered jobs at Oplink. RedClover's manufacturing will be moved to China, where Oplink has started up a contract manufacturing business (see Oplink Becomes Contract Manufacturer).

Officials from neither company could be reached for comment this morning.

RedClover develops 10-Gbit/s transponders, but its real talent is in finding ways to clean up the optical signal in order to extend the transponder's reach. Dozens of component companies are doing similar things, many of them tackling specific problems such as Chromatic Dispersion and Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD). RedClover claims its technology can fix any impairment on the line, without doing any kind of shaping or encoding.

"We sit and wait at the [receiving] end and tidy everything up," said John Ralston, RedClover's VP of marketing, in a briefing with Light Reading last July.

The idea is to remove the need for external components such as dispersion compensators, replacing them with one chip-sized gizmo integrated inside RedClover's transponder. "You get rid of a lot of stuff that's in the line system and put it into your terminal equalizer," Ralston said.

RedClover's technology hasn't been disclosed, but it uses a combination of optics and electronics to do some form of equalization. No kind of encoding/decoding scheme is involved, so the technology could theoretically get added to an arbitrary transponder to extend its reach. Earlier this year, RedClover claimed to be demonstrating a reach of 240 kilometers for 10-Gbit/s signals (see RedClover Unveils Transponders and RedClover Sets 10-Gig Benchmark).

RedClover was incorporated in 2000. The company received $12 million in March 2001 from investors including TeleSoft Partners, Diamondhead Ventures, and Fujitsu Quantum Devices Ltd.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jey 12/4/2012 | 11:19:26 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover On OFC this year, RedClover demo 40G transponder, why did the news forget their 40G?
waverunner 12/4/2012 | 11:19:26 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover Oplink offered all 25 jobs...hmmm. I wonder how many will be around in a few months. Let's see the logic here...I will buy this pathetic company, see what they have in IP, lay off everyone in a few months and abandon the technology as soon as they forget how to turn on the device.
ooj 12/4/2012 | 11:19:25 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover This is just another example of the Executive management's focus on getting a "good deal." Don't worry about how the added company will add to the sales or future. Just get something on the cheap.

The good news is they know they need to something. Let's just home for all the good people at Oplink and Red Clover that they wise up.
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 11:19:24 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover Failed companies try to enter this kind of deal after they have eaten up the VC funds. It is dishonesty pure and simple. Many start-ups would fire the employees but the management employees would be on payroll until all the VC provided funds disappear. Disgusting.
waverunner 12/4/2012 | 11:19:23 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover RedClover beware, I don't know how much you have contributed to the Oplink coffers, but you are not welcomed. Your time here follows a simple financial model: CASH Contribution/CASH Burn=# of days of employment. Good Luck.
gea 12/4/2012 | 11:19:21 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover BobbyMax:

All your base are belong to us.
mdwdm 12/4/2012 | 11:19:18 PM
re: Oplink Plucks RedClover This is the best deal RedClover could get.

Oplink gets some test equipment and that's it.

The RedClover executive team gets to claim success on their resumes.

The technology for signal clean-up is a joke. Their 40G (OTDM) transponder was a lab experiment that does not work in real
world.

---------
RedClover beware, I don't know how much you have contributed to the Oplink coffers, but you are not welcomed. Your time here follows a simple financial model: CASH Contribution/CASH Burn=# of days of employment. Good Luck.
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