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Optical components

Oclaro Lines Up Against Finisar, JDSU

Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR) is moving towards offering more advanced reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) line cards to more thoroughly compete with JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) and Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR).

Oclaro isn't announcing such a product at the ECOC Exhibition in Amsterdam next week, but there's this: Alongside a couple of 100Gbit/s announcements Oclaro is making next Monday is the debut of an eight-port optical channel monitor, a device that's primed for integration into line cards.

The eight-port device is notable for its density -- most optical channel monitors go up to four ports -- and Oclaro sees it being added into line cards for flexible-grid ROADMs, says Per Hansen, vice president of product marketing for Oclaro's optical networking division.

"As you have these more complex cards, you really want to be able to monitor your signals anyplace on your cards," Hansen says.

Oclaro's recent acquisition of Opnext had integration as a major theme, as Opnext didn't have Oclaro's breadth of components. Oclaro can also take advantage of Opnext's development facilities in Japan, which count low-power design as a focus.

Oclaro has also announced production shipments of its 100Gbit/s coherent module for line-side transport and a CFP2 client-side module. CFP2 is the smaller successor to the CFP module; each one fits one 100Gbit/s optical channel per port.

Why this matters
The component and subsystems vendors, JDSU in particular, are moving towards selling integrated line cards as products. It's the classic case of vendors migrating up towards higher-margin products.

For a couple of years now, JDSU has offered ROADM line cards with amplifiers integrated. Finisar can start going down that route with the recent acquisition of amplifier company Red-C. It makes sense that Oclaro -- now arguably No. 2 among optical components vendors, on par with JDSU and behind Finisar -- would want to step up its game in this area.

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— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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