Optical components


This week's OFC/NFOEC promises to have a stronger buzz than it has in years. Several companies have already announced their news, trying to avoid the show rush.

In what smacks of a weird mouse-ears conspiracy, OFC/NFOEC is returning to Anaheim, Calif. the same week that CTIA Wireless 2007 is being held in Orlando, Fla. Does this trigger some harmonic convergence that unfreezes Walt? We'll see.

Meanwhile, the financial crowd is flocking back to OFC/NFOEC. With IPG Photonics Corp. (Nasdaq: IPGP), Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT), and Optium Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTM) completing IPOs -- and Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) on the way -- analysts will soon be scouring the show grounds here trying to see what all the buzz is about in optical. (See Optical IPOs: Opnext Is Next, Optium Files for $100M IPO, and IPO Alert: Infinera Files Its S-1.)

Two of the booths they'll hit, no doubt will be NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN) and Santur Corp. , favorites for the next IPOs to surface.

In terms of technology, the big topics are predictable and awfully similar to last year's. The past week or so has given the world a taste of what's going to be hot.

40-Gig sells
Being a 40-Gbit/s believer is paying off for transponder vendor Kailight Photonics Ltd. , which says it's now receiving purchase orders and has been in testing with five potential customers. (See Kailight Ships Transponders.)

Kailight originally built widgets for wavelength conversion. Last year, seeing a lack of long-haul, 40-Gbit/s products in the works, the company shifted gears into transponders. (See 40-Gig Gets Extended.)

"We have gotten from four of our potential customers what they are expecting to order this year, and the numbers get really big really quickly -- between 50 and 100 per customer," says Neil Salisbury, Kailight's vice president of marketing. Early orders are smaller, though. The optical, duo-binary 40-Gbit/s transponder runs $40,000 -- "so they're not going to order 10 of them off the bat," he says.

A few other 40-Gbit/s-related missives leading into OFC/NFOEC:

ROADM roamin'
Nistica , founded by the former crew of Photuris, revealed in June that it's building reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) subsystems for the edge network. That's a twist from the metro applications targeted by most ROADMs. (See Photuris Crew Rides Again.)

"Although core ROADMs have not caught on in Europe and Asia, edge ROADMs have caught on," says Nistica CEO Ashish Vengsarkar.

Nistica expects to start volume shipments in the second half of the year, aided by contract manufacturer Fujikura Ltd. (See Nistica, Fujikura Team.)

So far, the 15-employee company has subsisted on a single $3.7 million funding round from November 2005.

Capella Photonics Inc. , on the other hand, picked up a $20 million round announced earlier this month. (See Capella Raises $20M.) The company makes wavelength-selective switches (WSSs), the active ingredient for some types of ROADMs.

Here are the early ROADM-related releases from OFC/NFOEC:

Other topics likely to permate the show include 100-Gbit/s Ethernet and the various transceiver types for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:11:16 PM
re: ROADMs, 40G Spark OFC/NFOEC ... just agreed to get bought by Optium for $40M+. There was a rumor earlier about Optium being in buying mode, but Kailight wasn't the target.
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