Optical components

Finisar Goes on a Spree

2:15 PM -- "Spree" is a hyperbolic way to say "two deals," but hey, that's two deals more than I would have bet on happening during the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC).

On Sunday, Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) bought EPON-on-a-stick by acquiring private company Broadway Networks for an undisclosed (small) amount. Finisar followed up by taking an 11 percent stake in Ignis ASA for NOK 27.8 million ($4.6 million), as announced this morning. (See Finisar Buys Broadway and Finisar Invests in Ignis.)

Broadway is an optical module company founded in 2006 by Wen Li, whose resume bridges PON and optical components (NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN), Quantum Bridge, and Acterna) but doesn't list any parts in A Chorus Line or The Lion King. Broadway's gimmick is that its SFPs apparently incorporate Ethernet functionality. (A MAC, I'm guessing? Awaiting details from Finisar.)

The claim, then, is that you get a complete ONT in this module, which can then be plugged directly into a router. Think of a multi-dwelling units (MDUs), where that router's in the basement and would normally sit next to an ONT.

That module is only for EPON. Finisar pledges to work on a GPON model next.

As for Ignis, analyst Paul Bonenfant of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. writes in a note issued this morning that Finisar has apparently been using Ignis's tunable lasers, developed by the former Syntune. An Ignis investment is the next best thing to having a captive tunables supply like JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) and Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR) do. (See Ignis Eyes Syntune and Ignis to Acquire Syntune.)

Finisar apparently joins Neophotonics as an Ignis owner. Neophotonics upped its stake, held by subsidiary Novel Centennial Ltd. of the British Virgin Islands, to 23.5 percent earlier this month.

Finisar probably doesn't want to buy Ignis, because Finisar "has limited (if any) interest in the passive optical components business (the other 84% of [Ignis's] sales)," Bonenfant writes.

That passive business includes arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) for WDM-PON. That's not relevant to Finisar. I just wanted to gratuitously mention WDM-PON.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:23:01 PM
re: Finisar Goes on a Spree

Craig, with your gratuitous mention of WDM-PON, you are spoiling us. 

Mark Sebastyn 12/5/2012 | 4:22:59 PM
re: Finisar Goes on a Spree

Nice Craig. Cue gratuitous WDM-PON hater/fanboy debate. What is this, Techcrunch?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:22:59 PM
re: Finisar Goes on a Spree

Ha!  :) 

Ray -- I think the only ones I'm spoiling are the WDM-PON camp. ... Anyway, it's not really that gratuitous a mention. The first couple of meetings I had with Ignis, years ago, focused heavily on WDM-PON.  So, I'll probably always associate them with that market, regardless of who invests in them.

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