Prima Luci (White Plains, NY), a startup optical-component company, says its has developed an all-photonic dispersion compensator capable of simultaneously correcting chromatic and polarization-mode dispersion using a technology that operates at rates up to 160 Gbits/sec. The current prototype has a footprint of approximately 20×20×8 cm using discrete components; the company claims the device will cost up to 90% less than regenerating solutions. The next-generation prototype will be produced on a chip 1×1 mm in size, says the company, adding that it has orders for engineering samples from "several major optical-system manufacturers" that Prima expects to fulfill during the first half of this year. Licensing arrangements are also being discussed.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) and Movaz Networks (Atlanta) agreed to jointly develop new next-generation metro DWDM equipment for Lucent's service-provider customers using Movaz's DWDM technology. The new offerings will complement Lucent's existing Metropolis portfolio of metro optical-networking products and carry the Lucent brand.

ADVA Optical Networking (Munich, Germany, and Mahwah, NJ) successfully completed interoperability testing and qualification of its Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 2000 system for IBM (Armonk, NY) Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) S/390 and zSeries eServer environments. Proven interoperability in accordance with IBM's testing procedures enables the IBM and ADVA systems to be deployed together for disaster recovery and business continuity applications.

ANDevices (Fremont, CA) closed its first round of financing. Led by AsiaTech Management and supported by several Silicon Valley angel investors, the new funding will be used to develop communications components in fiber to the home (FTTH) and fiber to the premises (FTTP) applications as well as bio-photonic applications such as spectrometers on a chip and other bio-sensing devices. The company has a partnership with Sumitomo Electric Industries (Tokyo). Current products from ANDevices in the communications field include splitter modules and planar-lightwave-circuit-based bidirectional optical subassemblies for the FTTH/FTTP markets as well as a multiplexer/demultiplexer product for DWDM and optical add/drop applications.

Corvis (Columbia, MD) signed an agreement to acquire Chicago-based competitive local exchange carrier Focal Communications, nationwide provider of voice and data services for enterprises, carriers, and resellers. The acquisition expands Corvis's carrier services portfolio, which began with the acquisition of Broadwing Communications. Focal has 4,000 enterprise and wholesale/carrier customers and operates in 23 tier one markets from Boston to Miami and New York to Los Angeles. Focal also has its own metro fiber footprint in nine tier one national markets. The purchase price will be $210 million, which will include about $101 million in equity to be issued to Focal's existing equity holders and the assumption or payment of about $109 million of Focal's existing debt and other long-term capital lease obligations.

The Photonics Center at Boston University opened its new Integrated Optics Laboratory. The lab will facilitate hybrid integration, device characterization, and measurement of active and passive photonics devices for industrial collaboration and faculty research. The 2,400-sq-ft laboratory, complete with a 400-sq-ft Class 100 cleanroom, is expected to see significant activity in the development of smart substrates and low-cost hybrid optical-component integration.

AboveNet (New York City) will provide a private fiber-optic network to Independence Air. The network will support the company's move toward becoming a national low-fare airline based out of Washington, DC's Dulles International Airport, with service to 50 destinations across the United States. The infrastructure will connect more than 4,000 employees at two Independence Air offices in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Agilent Technologies, Infineon Technologies, InfiniCon Systems, Mindspeed Technologies, Molex, Optical Communication Products, Picolight, Sun Microsystems, Tyco Electronics, and W.L. Gore & Associates released an IBPAK multisource-agreement (MSA) specification. The MSA provides a common specification for hot-pluggable 4×/12× fiber-optic transceivers and 4× copper transceivers that support InfiniBand-defined ports. The IBPAK agreement enables multiple compatible sources of front-panel, hot-swap-capable, 10-Gbit/sec (four-lane), and 30-Gbit/sec (12-lane) transceivers, including the electrical host connector and guide rail. Designs for 12× copper transceivers may be added later based on market activity.

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA, and Ottawa) selected the K2 Optronics (Sunnyvale, CA) EC48 external-cavity laser as the primary laser component in JDS Uniphase's 57TM extended long-reach (ELR) series of DWDM transmitter modules. The 57TM ELR is designed for use in telecom systems and high-speed datacom applications requiring DWDM operation.

The newly merged Architecture and Signaling Working Group of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) completed two implementation agreements (IAs) that address control-plane protocols needed for end-to-end optical connections. The Intra-Carrier External Network-to-Network Interface (E-NNI) 1.0 Signaling IA enables end-to-end connection management by providing a uniform method for carriers to interconnect network domains. An update to the UNI 1.0 Signaling IA addresses extensions to RSVP-TE signaling protocols. While not changing UNI 1.0 functionality, the new agreement reflects recent developments in other standards bodies. More information can be found at www.oiforum.com.

Telecom Italia selected the Digital Lightwave (Clearwater, FL) Network Information Computer (NIC) Plus for its Optical Transport Network (OTN) deployment and testing. Telecom Italia is the first major international carrier that has standardized on Digital Lightwave's OTN offering. The NIC Plus was selected from among several competitors to support the implementation of a countrywide deployment in Italy. Digital Lightwave products are sold and serviced in Italy by DELO Instruments (Milan).

Rede Eléctrica Nacional (REN), the Portuguese electricity transmission company, awarded a contract to ECI Telecom (Petah Tikva, Israel) for the supply of the XDM multiservice provisioning platform and local support services. ECI Telecom will supply XDM platforms for over 30 sites nationwide to create a national transport backbone with SDH/DWDM and next-generation Ethernet capabilities.

Bookham Technology (Oxfordshire, UK) and Colibrys (Neuchatel, Switzerland) collaborated to create and implement variable-optical-attenuator modules based on MEMS design and fabrication processes. Bookham has designed and patented three-dimensional MEMS structures with micro-shutters to produce optical attenuation with analog control. To successfully commercialize these component parts, Bookham has designed them as generic building blocks that are readily integrated into modules such as dynamic transmitters and receivers. Colibrys has established approaches to the fabrication of a MEMS die that embodies the Bookham designs.

Greater China Photonic Solutions (GCPS), an industry consortium that offers a China-based integrated component and subsystem supply chain for communications companies manufacturing products in China, made its U.S. debut. GCPS aims to enable optical companies to reduce the cost of their products by taking advantage of high-quality, low-cost supplies made in China.

PCCW (Hong Kong), one of Asia's leading IT&T players and the largest communications provider in Hong Kong, selected RBN (San Francisco) as its supplier of CWDM transport equipment. The two-year supply agreement covers the RBNi GigaEdge 8200. The first GigaEdge 8200 was installed and carrying live traffic within two weeks of PCCW placing the order...

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