The Physical & Link Layer Working Group (PLL WG) of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has initiated technical work on electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) and an extension to the OIF Serdes Framer Interface (SFI-5) Implementation Agreement. The EDC initiative is aimed at long-reach (80-km) and very-long-reach (120-km) 10-Gbit/sec optical transceivers and transponders. The OIF’s intent is to recommend the parameters and specification methodology necessary for industry interoperability and standardization. The SFI-5 effort, dubbed SFI-5 Phase 2, will change the OC-768 interface from the current 16-lane to a new four-lane interface based on the 11-Gigabit Short Reach Common Electrical Interface. SFI-5 Phase 2 will define the data path between 40-Gbit/sec optical modules, SONET/SDH framers, and forward error correction components.

Avanex (Fremont, CA), Eudyna Devices (Yokohama), Mitsubishi Electric (Tokyo), Oki Electric Industry (Tokyo), Opnext (Eatontown, NJ), Sumitomo Electric Industries (Osaka), and TriQuint Semiconductor (Hillsboro, OR) developed new common specifications for long-reach optical devices based on a 10-Gbit/sec miniature-device multisource agreement (XMD-MSA). The XMD-MSA specifications are designed for applications from short- to long-reach transmission functions. The XMD-MSA has been created to establish compatible sources of 10-Gbit/sec transmitter optical-subassembly (TOSA) and receiver optical-subassembly (ROSA) devices embedded into the 10-Gbit/sec small-form-factor-pluggable (XFP) MSA modules. The XMD-MSA covers optical devices that comply with 10-Gbit/sec interface standards, including 10-Gigabit Ethernet, 10-Gigabit Fibre Channel, and SONET OC-192. The newly available XMD-MSA specifications detail the semiconductor-based external modulator TOSA and avalanche photodiode transimpedance amplifier for long-reach (beyond 20 km) applications. XMD-MSA specifications now cover transmission applications for most optical-networking systems.

APA Optics (Minneapolis) officially changed the company’s name to APA Enterprises. The company will continue to report its future financial and other activities in its current segments, APA Cable & Networks (APACN) and its Optronics Division (gallium nitride R&D and products and other activities in Blaine and Aberdeen). There will be no change in the company’s stock trading symbol.

C-COR (State College, PA) agreed to acquire the business of Optinel Systems (Elkridge, MD), a privately held provider to the cable industry of optical Ethernet transport equipment for network core to the customer premises applications. The agreement calls for an initial cash payment of about $9.5 million and the assumption of certain liabilities as well as the payment of an additional $6 million in contingent cash consideration if certain sales objectives are achieved in the 13-month period following closing. The purchase transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to be completed in the first quarter of C-COR’s fiscal year 2005. Optinel will become part of C-COR’s Broadband Communications Products business segment. C-COR anticipates that in the 12 months following closing, the Optinel acquisition would add about $7 million in net sales and contribute to earnings after the anticipated integration is completed by the end of C-COR’s fiscal year 2005.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) and Telcordia Technologies (Piscataway, NJ) are jointly developing and delivering new offerings designed to enable ILECs to more efficiently introduce and manage high-speed carrier class Ethernet services over their existing network infrastructures. The collaboration aims to establish operations support systems (OSS) features to support the cost-effective deployment of advanced Ethernet over SONET services, specifically those enabled by Ciena’s CN 2600 multiservice edge aggregator. Through the Generic Feature Development Services (GFDS) Program, Telcordia and Ciena are co-investing in enhancements for SONET virtual concatenation, enabling dynamic inventory management, alarm notification, and automated flow-through provisioning of capacity for Ethernet services.

Leviton Manufacturing (Bothell, WA) has acquired Fiber Management Solutions (FMS-Holbrook, NY). FMS is now a Leviton company assigned to support the fiber optics program, including enterprise networks, access networks, and data centers, within the Leviton Voice & Data Division. Mike Mattei, former owner and president of FMS, has been named director of FMS. He will work closely with the Leviton Voice & Data project teams to integrate and develop new offerings.

Level(3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) (3)Link Intercity Dark Fiber and (3)Link Metro Dark Fiber services in the Chicago and Detroit areas are being provided to Michigan’s three largest public universities-Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University-to create a high-performance network to support advanced collaborative research. Level(3) will provide the services under a multiyear million-dollar-plus IRU contract with the National Research and Education Fiber Co. (FiberCo). The new dark fiber agreement with FiberCo will allow the Michigan universities’ Michigan LambdaRail network to connect to other important national and international networking hubs to enable high-performance collaborative research.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) won a one-year firm fixed-price $4.6-million contract with the U.S. Department of the Army to provide optical-networking systems and professional services to upgrade military communications systems at Fort Drum, NY. The new agreement is part of the Army’s Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) aimed at upgrading and modernizing the voice and data infrastructure at Army bases worldwide. Lucent will provide the Army with the Metropolis DMX access multiplexer and the new Metropolis wavelength services manager. Lucent also announced a three-year agreement with Global Crossing (Hamilton, Bermuda) to enhance the carrier’s optical transmission throughout its worldwide IP network. Lucent will supply the Lambda-Unite multiservice switch and Navis optical management system as well as technical support and network maintenance. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Spirent Communications (Rockville, MD) has selected TeraXion’s tunable dispersion devices for use in its AE 7200 optical-fiber emulator. The AE 7200 was designed as a laboratory computer-controlled optical physical layer impairment emulator for use in optical-network testing applications. Users can select different fiber types via software, then control attenuation, chromatic dispersion, ranges, and event conditions as well as emulate selected ITU channel dispersion and attenuation characteristics. TeraXion (Quebec City) adapted products from its existing ClearSpectrum line, which is based on fiber Bragg grating technology, for use in the optical-fiber simulator.

Lightconnect (Newark, CA), supplier of dynamic components for optical networks, announced that its MEMS-based DCE50 (dynamic channel equalizer 50 GHz) has been qualified to industry standards. The qualification tests were based on input from tier one OEMs and follow the guidelines set forth by Telcordia. They included stress tests over temperature, damp heat, and atmospheric pressure as well as several newly developed tests that measure real time optical performance during large-amplitude shock and vibration.

Marconi (Coventry, UK) opened a new R&D facility near Boston that will focus development on a new platform for a family of products to address the IP services market. The new center complements ongoing IP engineering work at existing Marconi development centers in Vienna, VA, and Pittsburgh. The resulting platform will become the latest in a line of IP and IP-aware products from Marconi that includes the BXR-48000 multiservice switch router.

Cogent Communications Group (Washington DC), a multinational optical Internet service provider (ISP), acquired a majority of the assets of Unlimited Fiber Optics (UFO), an ISP based out of San Francisco. Included in the assets are UFO’s customer base and network. UFO’s customer base comprises data-service customers, and its network comprises fiber-optic facilities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Members of the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) and its sister association, the Fibre Channel Industry Association-Japan (FCIA-J), have ratified the extension of the Fibre Channel (FC) roadmap to extend 8-Gbit/sec FC from an “inside the box” storage device interconnect into switched SAN fabrics. The action is positioned as helping customers preserve their 2- and 4-Gbit/sec FC infrastructure investments and avoid forklift upgrades. The vote supports the ANSI INCITS T11 Technical Committee development of the 8-Gbit/sec FC electrical copper and optical interfaces in its FC-PI-4 standard. The FCIA expects 8-Gbit/sec products to become available in the 2007-08 time frame. Travel technology provider Worldspan (Atlanta) awarded AT&T a three-year, $30-million networking contract and named AT&T its provider of choice for North America. AT&T will deploy a secure high-speed network-based IP virtual private network connected to an AT&T Ultravailable Network (UVN) fiber ring at the host site. Worldspan provides worldwide electronic distribution of travel information, Internet products and connectivity, and e-commerce capabilities for travel agencies, travel suppliers, and corporations.

Prima Luci (White Plains, NY), an optical-component company that claims it has “invented the ‘electronic transistor’ for the photonic industry,” raised $2 million from a private investment group. Last February, the company introduced an “all-photonic” dispersion compensator operating at rates of up to 160 Gbits/sec. The new funding will enable Prima Luci to complete the building and delivery of engineering samples ordered by what it described as “several major optical-system manufacturers.”

Fujitsu Network Communications (Richardson, TX) selected Intel’s IXF30009 optical transport processor for its Flashwave DWDM products. The IXF30009 provides the full range of G.709-compliant Optical Transport Network management features. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Northlight Optronics (Järfälla, Sweden) signed a three-year volume supply agreement with Fabrinet (San Francisco), an engineering and electromechanical manufacturing services company. Fabrinet will provide the module packaging and manufacture of optical subassemblies for Northlight’s longwave optical transmitters and receivers. Northlight Optronics’ standard butterfly and new TOSA/ROSA products will be assembled in Fabrinet’s newly completed facility in Bangkok, Thailand. Process transfer is presently underway. Fabrinet is expected to begin shipping product in the third quarter.

Fibernet Group (Basingstoke, UK), a custom network service provider, has received what it calls “a substantial contract” from Fujitsu Services. The dedicated infrastructure will enable Fujitsu Services to provide managed services to organizations requiring business-critical services such as business continuity and SANs.

Intense (Glasgow, Scotland), developer and manufacturer of optical components and modules, completed a further £5-million (approximately $9.2-million) funding round. All the company’s previous financial investors-3i, ACT Venture Capital, Alice Ventures, Cazenove Private Equity, FNI Venture Capital, and TTP Ventures-took part in the new round. The additional funds will provide Intense with development capital to expand its project-based business. Intense will also add more optical semiconductor fabrication capital equipment, particularly in the area of module packaging.

Transmode Systems (Stockholm) and ARCHE, a French systems integrator, will supply the former’s System 1100 WDM platform to Tiscali France (Paris) to support the rollout of unbundled DSL services in several major urban areas across the country. Tiscali is France’s second-largest Internet service provider and its third-largest provider of residential DSL services. Transmode’s System 1100 will be used to backhaul residential broadband traffic over Gigabit Ethernet from Tiscali DSLAM locations to central hubs. In the first phase of the contract, to have been completed by the end of August, Transmode equipment will be installed in more than 100 locations across 20 fiber rings. Further rings will be added next year as part of Tiscali’s continuing rollout of DSL services across France.

Ibsen Photonics (Copenhagen), supplier of holographic phase masks, transmission diffraction gratings, and OEM spectrometer modules based on diffraction gratings, received U.S. Patent #6,762,880, titled “Grating Structures and Methods of Making the Grating Structures.” This technology enables pure fused silica transmission grating designs with beneficial optical properties. Design possibilities include polarization and temperature independence combined with highly robust grating surfaces.

OpTun (Munich, Germany), manufacturer of planar-lightwave-circuit-based components and modules, received a $1-million grant from the German Ministry of Research & Education to develop highly integrated devices in silicon oxynitride (SiON) for the DWDM and optical-interconnect industries. The two-year award from the German Ministry will be used to develop the commercial application of optical switches, variable optical attenuators, and power monitors to provide monolithically integrated reconfigurable add/drop-multiplexer modules.

The LANscape offering for premises networks from Corning (Corning, NY)-including Corning InfiniCor SX+ multimode optical fiber, multipurpose indoor/outdoor cable, UniCam MT-RJ connectors, universal patch panels, and jumpers-has been deployed in Biopolis, a biomedical research and development hub in the Singapore master-planned business zone called “one-north.” Biopolis, dedicated to biomedical sciences R&D, is being developed by JTC, Singapore’s largest developer of industrial parks. Several government agencies, publicly funded research institutes, and R&D labs for pharmaceutical and biotech companies are located in the park. Construction of Biopolis’s seven buildings was completed during the first half of this year.

The Yuanshen Broadcasting Network, located in the northern city of Harbin, China, will transform its network with E- and M-series routing platforms from Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA). The broadcaster will use the new platforms to leverage its existing fiber network for delivering new revenue-generating broadband access services to residential customers and enterprises. Yuanshen Broadcasting will use the M-series to create a backbone network and the E-series to build an aggregation and access network at the edge. Also, Juniper Networks earlier announced that Asian telecommunications operator SingTel (Singapore) has implemented a global IP network backbone using the company’s core and edge routing platforms. SingTel’s ConnectPlus IP backbone includes Juniper’s T320, M20, and M10i routers. The routers support the creation of an MPLS network and use the JUNOS operating system. The T320 is a 10-Gbit/sec core-routing platform with aggregation support for ATM, Frame Relay, SONET/SDH, and metro Ethernet. The M20 and M10i are edge-routing platforms that provide ASIC-based routing capabilities. Details of the contract were not disclosed.

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