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Optical/IP

Leading Lights 2020 Finalists: Outstanding Components Vendor

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" is a phrase often credited to Aristotle (and debated by others), but in the world of telecommunications, the parts are pretty important, too.

This year, four companies have been shortlisted, with the award going to the components vendor that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, helps set the industry trends, makes investors proud and employees happy.

The four companies in the running are:

  • Acacia Communications
  • LotusFlare
  • Precision OT
  • Xilinx

The Leading Lights winners, and the identities of this year's Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees, will be announced online, on August 21, during a special video presentation on www.lightreading.com, one month before the start of the Big 5G Event.

Here's a closer look at the companies shortlisted in the Outstanding Components Vendor category:

Acacia Technologies
Acacia has become a powerhouse in the world of silicon photonics, staking claims to commercial products that, the company says, have driven year-over-year reductions in power consumption by nearly 40%. And those claims have been backed up by some product milestones, including more than 200,000 photonic integrated circuits (PICs) shipped, along the recent debut of a family of 400G pluggable modules that feature a sizable list of interoperability modes, including one that adheres to the CableLabs Coherent Optics Physical Layer Specification.

What's all that worth? At least $2.6 billion – the price tag Cisco, one of Acacia's top customers, is paying to acquire the company.

LotusFlare
The physical Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) has had run-ins with Dr. Shrinker, decreasing in size to the point that it is being rendered in software and a form that can be neatly embedded in the latest mobile devices, providing critical flexibility, agility and digitally-focused provisioning and onboarding to carriers as they seek ways to differentiate in a hotly competitive market.

LotusFlare is helping to lead this trend as embedded SIM technology makes its way into products such as the Google Pixel 4 and the latest iPhone models, noting that it's been working with a "leading" original equipment manufacturer to handle the heavy lifting, including design, testing and integration for an eSIM solution.

Precision OT
As the 5G market continues to expand and evolve, Precision OT is taking aim at it with a lineup of optical transceivers/components aimed at building operational efficiencies for the deployment of next-gen access networks.

Of note, Precision OT is using a blend of fiber optic and wireless technologies on the converged network to target a paradigm shift in 5G in terms of how data is transmitted and how devices communicate.

Xilinx
After focusing on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and programmable systems on chip (SoCs), Xilinx has since set its sights on the adaptive compute acceleration platform, or ACAP, billed as a new category of heterogenous compute devices designed to exceed conventional CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs.

Introduced in March, Xilinx's Versal Premium represents the third series in the company's Versal ACAP portfolio. Developed on TSMC's 7-nanometer technology and targeted to high-bandwidth networks (including cloud providers seeking even more scale), the software-programmable Versal Premium touts 9 Tbit/s of serial bandwidth, with 5 Tbit/s of integrated Ethernet throughput.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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