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Optomania

1:10 PM -- I'm knee-deep in preparing the optical components Who Makes What report. The exercise is giving me a new view on something everybody's been saying: The industry still needs consolidation.

Our last optical Who Makes What was in 2004, and, since then, quite a few players have dropped out, or they've abandoned telecom optics for the medical or industrial sectors.

But the 2007 list might end up bigger. Some of that has to do with scope; we've made an effort to identify more vendors in China, Korea, and Taiwan. Even so, some of names you'd expect to be gone by now -- even smaller ones dating back before 2001 -- are still around.

Major consolidation never happened, and the best bet lately, the potential for Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX) and Bookham Inc. (Nasdaq: BKHM; London: BHM) to buy each other, is rumored to be dead. (See Will Avanex Hook Bookham?.)

But look -- there's Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT), filing details of its IPO just now. (See Opnext Unveils IPO Details.) And Fiberxon Inc. getting glommed into MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC) at the end of last week. (See MRV Buys Fiberxon, Preps IPO.) Times have gotten interesting for optics again, in a good way.

We'll have the report posted, we hope, this week, giving companies plenty of time to massage the list before OFC/NFOEC in March.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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