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Optical components

Optical Future

6:00 PM -- Daryl Inniss, an analyst with Ovum RHK Inc. , brings up a good point about the optical components business:

"The model in this market is still unclear. Who are the success stories? Who do I want to be when I grow up? No one seems to know," he says.

Optical's problems are the same as they were two years ago: too many companies. Most executives openly acknowledge this. Photonics suppliers don't have much sway, as shown by the way Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s "lean manufacturing" initiative dented everyone's quarterlies. Amazing to see folks like u2t Photonics AG still surviving.

So, who's going to break through all this and become the optical role model? JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) doesn't seem to want to do it. (See JDSU May Be Mulling Optical Exit.) Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT) might be the answer for now, but there's no guarantee that will last.

A greenfield startup approach might be more likely to break through. Not to pressure anyone, but I'm kind of eyeing NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN) along those lines.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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