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Optical components

Ignis Eyes Syntune

7:20 AM -- Ignis ASA announced late last week that it's signed a letter of intent to acquire Syntune AB for an undisclosed amount. The Scandanavian companies didn't send the press release through the typical U.S. channels, but it appears to be available via the bizarre-looking URL, http://bors.e24.se/bors24.se/site/news/news_article.page?magic=(cc%20(id%20urn:newsml:six.se:20090403:Hugin_4148412643:1)).

The deal isn't that surprising, especially considering so many people believe small optical acquisitions will be all the rage this year.

Ignis, based in Norway, is best known in these pages for the Ignis Photonyx AS subsidiary that sells components including switches and arrayed waveguides (AWGs). The Photonyx outfit is also a strong advocate of WDM-PON, having founded the GigaWaM project to work on lowering systems costs. (See Ericsson Joins Cost-Cutting WDM-PON Team and Ignis Updates GigaWaM.)

Syntune, from Sweden, is a tunable laser vendor that's joined the GigaWaM effort. (See Syntune Goes GigaWaM.) So, Ignis would be picking up another piece related to WDM-PON.

On the downside, Ignis would have to deal with JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), which is in separate tunable-laser patent fights with Bookham Inc. (Nasdaq: BKHM; London: BHM) and Syntune and is trying to get the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) involved. (See Tunable Wars.)

WDM-PON still has its doubters, but it's also got backers like ADVA Optical Networking , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and LG-Ericsson Co. Ltd. (See The Price of WDM-PON and LG-Nortel Touts WDM-PON.) It's going to be a topic worth watching in the coming year.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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