Fiberspace (Woodland Hills, CA) announced that it has acquired the assets of Tunable Photonics (Altadena, CA), a privately held company specializing in solutions for network tunability. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Fiberspace will offer Tunable Photonics' TrueLock external and internal wavelength lockers and TrueMap laser characterization system alongside its tunable-laser sources for a full line of wavelength stabilization solutions. By extension, Fiberspace will support Tunable Photonics' relationships with existing customers, suppliers, and partners. Also as part of the agreement, Fiberspace will obtain a sizable patent portfolio from Tunable Photonics, including some technology originating from NASA/Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
Corvis (Columbia, MD), a provider of intelligent optical-networking technologies, has entered into a multiyear manufacturing outsourcing agreement with Celestica (Toronto), an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company. Under the agreement, Celestica will become the exclusive manufacturer of Corvis's terrestrial optical-networking products and subsea terminating equipment. Corvis will immediately begin transitioning its module-level manufacturing capabilities to Celestica, offering Corvis the opportunity to streamline its manufacturing capabilities, improve overall manufacturing flexibility, and reduce costs. Corvis plans to maintain certain critical manufacturing operations in Columbia, MD, mainly to support new-product introduction, final assembly, system integration, and testing capabilities. Additional details of the outsourcing agreement were not disclosed.
Facilities-based services provider Looking Glass Networks (Oak Brook, IL) announced over $60 million in customer contracts in nine metro markets on the year anniversary of its inaugural network. Looking Glass provides SONET, Ethernet, and wavelength services as well as dark fiber and carrier-neutral collocation services to more than 60 carriers and enterprise customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. The Dallas network, operating since August 2001, was recently extended into Irving, Las Colinas, Addison, Plano, and Richardson, TX. A loop in Secaucus, NJ, was recently added to the New York City network. Separately, Looking Glass announced a contract valued at over $10 million with Cogent Communications (Washington, DC), a next-generation optical Internet service provider, to build dark fiber networks to be lit by Cogent in nine metro markets and provide connectivity to more than 100 enterprise buildings in those cities. Looking Glass's network will support the delivery of Cogent's high-speed Internet access and transport services in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. Demand for Cogent's service has exceeded expectations, hence Cogent has increased the scope of the original contract, signed in December 2001. Combining dark fiber from Looking Glass's backbone with specialized lateral connections, Cogent will increase its connectivity and extend its reach to new buildings in nine markets by the end of the year.
Metropolitan Ethernet services provider Neopolitan Networks (Palo Alto, CA) announced delivery of Internet connectivity to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the city of Palo Alto. The Gigabit Ethernet network allows customers to easily change their bandwidth from 1 Mbit/sec to 100 Mbits/sec. The network is completely private, so there is no reliance on traditional voice networks.
Optical access equipment developer Wave7 Optics (Alpharetta, GA) announced a third round of funding totaling $15.5 million, bringing the company's total funds raised to $47.5 million. Oak Investment Partners led the Series C round, while all prior investors—Morgenthaler Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures, Lucent Venture Partners, Mellon Ventures, and Armada Venture Partners—also participated in the round. Dave Walrod, general partner of Oak Investment Partners, will join the Wave7 board of directors. Wave7 Optics develops fiber-to-the-home and -business access technologies.
Industrial laser firm TRUMPF (Farmington, CT), the U.S. subsidiary of the Germany-based TRUMPF Group, has acquired the component manufacturing assets of laser and subsystem vendor Princeton Lightwave (PLI—Cranbury, NJ). The two companies have also entered into a strategic partnership. Under terms of the partnership, Princeton Lightwave will retain its extensive optoelectronic-device design, characterization, reliability testing, fiber- optic packaging, and application support facilities. Both companies will support one another's business with Princeton Lightwave supplying research and engineering support services to TRUMPF, and TRUMPF manufacturing optoelectronics components for PLI.
MathStar (Minneapolis), a provider of high-speed, high-performance communications chips, today announced that it raised $15.3 million in additional funding. Investors include leading institutional investors, a Minneapolis-based venture capital firm, and angel investors. Founded in 1998, MathStar is a fabless semiconductor company. In addition to the physical media-dependent chips, including transimpedence amplifiers, vertical-cavity service-emitting laser drivers, and SerDes, MathStar is heavily engaged in the development of a new reconfigurable chip technology. The company has raised over $33 million in funding.
Components vendors W. L. Gore & Associates(Newark, DE) and Alvesta (Sunnyvale, CA) entered into a technology cross-license agreement that enables both companies to manufacture fully compatible 10-Gbit/sec optical transceivers based on the same underlying optical, electrical, and mechanical design. Both companies will develop four-channel parallel optic transceivers as defined by the QuadLink multisource agreement (MSA). QuadLink is the first parallel optics MSA optimized for 10-Gbit operation across multiple industry standards, including the Optical Internetworking Forum for SONET/SDH, InfiniBand, and 10-Gigabit Fibre Channel. It is based on an innovative four-channel full-duplex optical-transceiver architecture that operates over a single ribbon fiber cable.
Carrier Qwest Communications International (Denver) announced that its self-healing fiber ring connecting Southern Oregon communities is now completed and fully operational. The southern ring—the first of five fiber rings currently under construction in Oregon—is the first rural ring built by Qwest. The ring connects southern Oregon through Eugene, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford, Klamath Falls, Oakridge, and back to Eugene. The additional self-healing rings are being established in eastern and central Oregon as well as in the mid-Willamette Valley and along the north and central Oregon coast. With the completion of these rings, a Qwest intelligent network will be able to instantly reroute voice and data traffic in the event that a cable is cut or service is otherwise interrupted. Individual communities on the fiber rings will no longer be isolated from the rest of the state if an interruption in service occurs. Qwest's support of these projects is a result of Senate Bill 622. The bill established a fund in 1999 that made financial support available to applying communities showing a need for increased bandwidth, route diversity, and access to advanced telecommunications services for their residents. Qwest was the only company to elect to participate in the legislation and provided roughly $70 million for infrastructure improvements in exchange for freedom from traditional rate-of-return regulation. As part of the agreement, Qwest also provided $50 million for high-speed Internet connections to Oregon schools and two-way video connections to every Oregon high school, both inside and outside of Qwest territory.
Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) announced that its venture unit Agilent Ventures has participated in the Series B-1 Preferred Stock funding round for Big Bear Networks (Milpitas, CA), a privately held company that designs and manufactures highly integrated, optoelectronic interface solutions for next-generation high-speed optical transmission operating at rates from 10 Gbits/sec to greater than 40 Gbits/sec. Agilent's follow-on investment was part of a Series "B" preferred round of funding, led by Menlo Ventures, which raised over $40 million in equity. Big Bear has previously raised $60 million in two rounds of private funding from Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, and Sequoia Capital. Founded in 2000, Big Bear Networks develops electro-optical module and subassembly products based on its Photonic Signal Processing technology, which combines low-cost electronics and digital signal processing to automatically correct for fiber impairments that become more severe at greater transmission speeds and distances.
Fiber Optic Network Solutions (FONS—Northboro, MA) announced that its 2-mm fiber-optic connector and cabling assembly successfully completed Telcordia Level 2 certification to GR-326-CORE, as outlined in SR-4226, "Fiber Optic Connector and Jumper Assembly Certification," Issue 2. This certification establishes FONS as the first manufacturer to show its ability to make connectors and assemblies that satisfy the rigorous requirements and tests set by GR-326-CORE, "Generic Requirements for Singlemode Optical Connectors and Jumper Assemblies," Issue 3, according to FONS. Telcordia Certification from Telcordia Technologies (Morristown, NJ) is a qualifications process designed to establish the performance levels and reliability of telecommunications equipment developed to meet the needs of service providers.
Comcast Cable Communications (Philadelphia) announced the completion of a fiber-optic-cable upgrade that will allow 16,000 customers on its Long Beach Island, NJ, system to subscribe to up to 205 digital cable channels and high-speed cable Internet access. The system will be capable of delivering video-on-demand in the near future, according to the company. Comcast Cable began deploying 160 mi of fiber-optic cable in February, connecting Long Beach Island, across the Manahawkin Bay Bridge, to the mainland. The upgrade in Long Beach Island is part of a larger investment in Comcast's network that costs hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade nearly 25,000 mi of new fiber-optic cable.
Marconi plc (London) announced a $3.5-million contract to support the network growth plans of cellular telephone operator Telefonica Moviles Mexico, a subsidiary of Telefonica, the largest telecommunications operator in Latin America. The solution, comprising Marconi's SDH optical multiplexers and power platforms, is being deployed to support expected subscriber growth in 2002.
Uni2 France Telecom Group subsidiary Al-Pi Telecomunicacions, a regional telecommunications service provider based in Barcelona, Spain, has chosen Atrica's (Santa Clara, CA) optical Ethernet system as the foundation for its next-generation MAN. Al-Pi is using Atrica's carrier-class optical Ethernet system, which includes the A-8000 series optical Ethernet core switches, the A-2100 optical Ethernet edge switch, and Atrica's service platform for Ethernet networks (ASPEN). Al-Pi plans to offer optical Ethernet-based services, including a point-to-point Ethernet virtual private line service, multipoint transparent LAN services, Internet access with value-added virtual private networking, security and firewall services, and circuit emulation services for PBX interconnection.
Integrated components developer Intense Photonics (High Blantyre, Scotland) closed a $16-million series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $31.3 million. Cazenove Private Equity lead the round with a syndicate containing first-round investors, 3i and ACT Venture Capital, together with two European venture capital funds, FNI Venture Capital and TTP Ventures.
LightPointe (San Diego), a designer and manufacturer of carrier-class optical transmission equipment using free-space optics (FSO) technology, announced that its Flight system is being deployed by service provider Red Spectrum (London) for a high-speed network in London. Red Spectrum is building the optical network to provide Ethernet and gigabit connectivity to London metropolitan businesses underserved by incumbent carriers. Using roof-mounted FSO technology, Red Spectrum is able to deliver burstable bandwidth from 1 Mbit/sec to 1 Gbit/sec. The metro service provider has already begun providing FSO services to an undisclosed number of customers.
Global automation company Omron (Kyoto, Japan) is entering the optical IC space. Omron is developing five types of optical-waveguide chips, expected to become available by the end of the year—an optical transceiver, optical tap coupler, optical coupler, optical switch, and variable optical attenuator. Rather than a conventional semiconductor process using glass, Omron's waveguide manufacturing technique relies on optical-waveguide replication technology (fine pattern replication technology) using plastic, resulting in large-scale production that is cheaper and requires less time, according to the company.
Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) has been awarded a contract to supply KT (formerly Korea Telecom—Seoul) an advanced optical system that will allow KT to quadruple the capacity of its existing networks. That marks the first major introduction of 10-Gbit/sec technology to South
Korea's largest communications service provider's long-distance transmission networks. Under terms of the contract, Lucent delivered 25 WaveStar TDM 10-Gbit/sec (STM-64) systems last month to upgrade KT's current 2.5-Gbit/sec-based city-to-city networks in Gyunggi, Chungcheong, Jeonra, and Gangwon province to 10-Gbit/sec capacity-based networks. The commercial service is scheduled to start next month. In China, Lucent announced four contracts, with a combined total of $15 million, to supply optical-networking systems to domestic carriers Shanghai Telecom, Guangdong Unicom, Zhongshan Telecom, and Zhejiang Telecom. Lucent will provide equipment, including the LambdaUnite MultiService Switch, a next-generation optical transport system and switch; numerous multiservice metro/access products from Lucent's WaveStar family; and network management systems from the Navis Optical Management Solutions family.
Fabless semiconductor company EZchip Technologies (San Jose, CA) a subsidiary of LanOptics, announced that China's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE (Shenzhen) has selected its flagship 10-Gbit/sec network processor NP-1 to power its next-generation metro switch. NP-1 supports both packet processing and classification in a single full-duplex chip. It features a choice of OC-192 packet over SONET, 10-Gbit/sec Ethernet, or eight 1-Gbit/sec Ethernet ports with integrated media access controls. A switch-fabric interface allows scaling NP-1-based systems to thousands of ports. The chip's technology also provides scalability to 40-Gbit/sec/OC-768.
China's largest commercial bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC—Beijing), has deployed storage-area networking and disaster recovery systems from Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario). Developed in association with storage vendor EMC, the storage-area networking system is based on Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 Multiservice Platform. The network leverages the power of DWDM optical technology to link ICBC's Beijing data consolidation center with a backup facility at another location in the capital. The Beijing center collects data from about 21 provinces across North China.
Lightscape Networks (Petah Tikva, Israel), an ECI Telecom company announced that State Power Corporation of China (SPCC—Beijing) has chosen the XDM metro optical networking platform for the fifth phase of its regional network expansion. The XDM multiservice platform supports SONET/SDH, DWDM, and Gigabit Ethernet and offers long-haul capabilities. The platform was used in the four completed phases of the network, and it is transporting live traffic successfully within the infrastructure servicing the national power networks of the Three Gorges Project in China. This latest implementation introduces 10-Gbit/sec capacity to SPCC's Beijing metro network and builds on previous deployments of XDM within the national backbone.