In Brief

Kane Computing launched Opticlink-1394 to provide a way of extending "FireWire" (IEEE1394B) communications over long-distances noise-free via fibre cables. Opticlink is a transparent, manufacturer-independent method of communicating between IEEE1394B-compliant sources and a host system. It offers transfer speeds of 100, 200, or 400Mbit/s over distances from 4.5m up to 500m. The system comprises two converters: one converting FireWire signals to optical signals and the other converting optical signals to FireWire.

It uses multi-mode fibre and MT-RJ connectors. Prices start at about £1000 for a pair of converters.

Level 3 Communications (London, UK) has signed a one-year agreement to provide up to 1 Gigabit of Internet access service to Belnet, the Belgian national research network for education, research and public services. Belnet will use Level 3's (3)CrossRoads service and metropolitan dark fibre, a wholesale Internet access service that connects Level 3's customers and network with the Internet and other private networks.

Fibre components maker Fibotec Fiberoptics GmbH has moved to: Bergstrabetae 2, 98617 Meiningen, Germany. Tel/Fax +49 3693 8813-20/29; E-mail info@fibotec.

Fibotec's experience in rare-earth doped fibre products and high-current laser diode drivers has been converted into standard products: ASE-sources, EDFA and digitally modulated laser diode modules.

Schott Optovance has partnered with Swiss component supplier Huber+Suhner to develop a low-loss backplane connector system. Schott Optovance will make and market H+S' high-density, single-mode FiberGate connector system. At OFC 2002, Schott Optovance and Corona Optical Systems claimed demonstration of the most compact fibre management system with Schott's Optical Shuffle and Corona's OptoCube 40 transceiver.

At OFC 2002 Bookham Technology demonstrated a DS-DBR laser (Digital Supermode Distributed Bragg Reflector), which can be combined with its gallium arsenide-based integrated modulator platform for 10 and 40Gbit/s transmitters. Bookham claims that the tuning method gives increased power uniformity with tuning; simplified set up, calibration and control; and scalability in manufacture through use of monolithic, planar device structures, and is suitable for dynamic wavelength routing and active system reconfiguration as well as sparing and inventory management.

Stockholm-based Lumentis, which supplies unamplified systems for metro DWDM networks, has raised USD19m in second-round funding from existing investor Deutsche Bank Industrial Holdings, and DWDM component maker Santec, of Komaki, Japan. Lumentis has formed a partnership with Santec for both R&D and Asian distribution.

Equant has signed up its 500th IP-VPN customer. The Paris-based company now claims to connect more than 12,000 corporate sites world-wide. Equant also claims it is leading the fast-growing IP-VPN market for multi-nationals. The 500th customer, Australian firm BHP Billiton, has 127 sites on five continents that Equant is connecting. BHP Billiton will migrate from its current global frame relay network to a single, fully managed private network.

Cirpack and IBM are combining their technologies to develop a powerful "Carrier-Class SoftSwitch platform" to telecom service providers building next generation Networks. The Cirpack HVS SoftSwitch is made of an IBM eServer xSeries cluster running the Linux-based Cirpack Class-5 SoftSwitch application. The joint solution meets operators' demands for large next generation telecom infrastructures capable of providing innovative voice services across any types of legacy and broadband loops.

HighWave Optical Technologies, Lannion, France reported sales for the year to March 2002 were Euro26m (down 64% on the equivalent in 2001: Euro71.5m). The results included Q4/2002 sales of Euro2.8m (down 91% on Q4/2001, although 22% up on Q3/2002). Product revenues as a proportion of total sales for Optical Amplifiers fell from 79% over fiscal 2002 to 57% in Q4; while Services rose from 8% to 34%. "We will continue to expand our product offering and broaden our customer base, and remain optimistic that Highwave will benefit from these efforts by the end of calendar year 2002," said president Eric Delevaque.

Opto Speed, a Swiss developer and manufacturer of innovative indium phosphide based optoelectronic components, has secured Euro20m in a second round of financing led by The Carlyle Group. Since it was founded in 1995, Opto Speed has established itself as an important player in the market and, from a European base, has achieved significant sales in the United States, Europe and Asia. Opto Speed's customer base includes Lucent, Infineon, Nortel, IBM and Intel. In addition, it supplies many next generation optical subsystems.

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