hot off the press

NEC Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) has announced plans to spin off its Compound Semiconductor Device Div. (CSDD) into a new company, effective October 2001. The new company will operate on a fabless semiconductor company business model and will be headquartered in Kawasaki, Japan, with additional research and product development facilities in Kansai, Japan. CSDD designs and manufactures a range of silicon and GaAs RF and microwave semiconductor devices, as well as optical semiconductor devices.

North America

Chorum Technologies Inc. (Richardson, TX), manufacturer of all-optical processors and subsystems, will acquire Polytronix Inc. (Richardson, TX), developer of liquid-crystal-display technologies. Polytronix will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorum. The transaction was accounted for as a purchase; additional terms were not disclosed.

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA and Ottawa) has acquired Optical Process Automation Inc. (OPA-Melbourne, FL) in a transaction accounted for as a purchase. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. OPA designs and manufactures automated and semi-automated systems for the manufacture of fiber-optic components and modules.

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (Quebec City) will acquire EFOS Inc. (Toronto) for 3.7 million EXFO shares and $25 million in cash. EFOS specializes in precision light-based adhesive spot-curing technologies as well as curing process control for the optical component market.

Efficient Networks Inc. (Dallas) and Siemens Information and Communications Networks Group (Siemens ICN-Milan, Italy) have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Siemens will make a cash tender offer for all of Efficient Networks' outstanding shares, valued at $1.5 billion. Siemens expects the transaction to strengthen its position in the DSL broadband access market.

ECI Telecom's (Herndon, VA) Transport Networks Div. has established a new corporate identity. It will now operate independently as Enavis Networks Ltd. (Petah Tikva, Israel) and will continue to provide bandwidth-management solutions to global telecommunications carriers.

Optical software developer Optical Research Associates (ORA-Pasadena, CA) has made a strategic investment in Comm Optics Corp. (Irvine, CA), manufacturer of micro-optics and subassemblies. ORA customers now have the option of working with ORA's Photonics Systems Engineering group on purely design engineering, or they can work with ORA and CommOptics on an integrated design manufacturing process.

Oplink Communications Inc.'s (San Jose) passive Raman amplifier components were a key part of Xtera Communications Inc.'s (Allen, TX) demonstration of multichannel 10-Gbit/sec transmission using cascaded discrete Raman amplifiers in the S-band. Oplink's components are qualified for incorporation into the Xtera eXpander System Integral, which the company claims is the first commercially available product to utilize the S-band window between 1,485 and 1,525 nm, supporting 50-GHz channel spacing.

Keithley Instruments Inc. (Cleveland) and X-Rite Inc. subsidiary Labsphere Inc. (North Sutton, NH) have signed an agreement whereby Keithley will provide a custom-designed integrating sphere optical head. The new model 2500INT integrating sphere facilitates direct optical measurement of laser-diode output power when used with certain types of electronic test instrumentation. Keithley will offer the integrating sphere for use in its light-intensity current voltage test system.

PerkinElmer Inc. (Boston) is launching a strategic partnership with CENiX Inc. (Lehigh Valley, PA) that will focus on the joint development and strategic supply of 10- and 40-Gbit high-speed receivers and receiver product technology for advanced optical networks.

Finisar Corp. (Sunnyvale, CA) and Hitachi Cable Ltd. (Tokyo) have reached an agreement to standardize new digital diagnostic and monitoring functions in their respective SONET OC-48 small-form-factor pluggable (SFP) optical transceiver modules. The new standard utilizes the two Serial ID pins in the SFP connector to access an extended address set that provides calibrated, real-time measurements of the laser bias current, the transmitted optical power, the received optical power, and the internal transceiver temperature and supply voltage.

Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. (Andover, MA) has selected Corning Cable Systems (Hickory, NC) as its preferred provider of passive-optical-network infrastructure solutions. Per the alliance, Corning Cable Systems has identified Quantum Bridge as its preferred supplier of fiber-to-the-business solutions and will provide strategic customers of Quantum Bridge with access to its passive-optical-network infrastructure and components. The companies will also work to jointly market, support, and deploy optical access solutions into the public network.

Siemens Information and Communication Networks Group (Siemens ICN-Milan, Italy) has selected CODEON Corp.'s (Columbia, MD) 10- and 40-Gbits/sec high-speed optical modulators for field trial. Comprehensive lab testing is currently underway, with field trials expected to begin shortly. Both companies expect successful completion of the testing to result in a commercial agreement.

Corning Inc. (Corning, NY) has begun shipment of its MetroCor fiber to Level 3 Communications Inc. (Broomfield, CO) for installation in metropolitan-area networks Level 3 has built across North America. The fiber shipment is part of a global supply agreement between the two companies announced in October 2000. Corning Cable Systems will provide the fiber cabling for the project.

Touch America (Butte, MT), the broadband information transport subsidiary of the Montana Power Co., has selected Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose) 12000 series Internet routers for its expanding long-haul fiber-optic network. Touch America presently has an 18,000-route-mi network that will expand to 26,000 mi by year-end 2001.

Acterna (Germantown, MD) has successfully completed a remote OC-48 test and monitoring system that proves interoperability between Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose) ONS 15900 Wavelength Router and Acterna's ANT-20 analyzer. According to the companies, joint Cisco and Acterna customers will be able to remotely qualify the optical network connected by Cisco's ONS 15900 wavelength router to carry voice, video, and data services.

Chorum Technologies Inc. (Richardson, TX) has signed supply agreements to provide its PolarWave optical-slicer filters to Nortel Networks (Ontario). Nortel will use the PolarWave filters in its long-haul optical systems.

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (MFN-White Plains, NY) has completed testing of Alidian Networks Inc.'s (San Jose) Optical Services Network (OSN) product line for customer use on MFN's metropolitan-area network. The testing was conducted over several weeks using Alidian's OSN add/drop multiplexer platforms on an MFN customer network connecting multiple MFN sites in the New York City area. The network carried multiservice traffic. MFN also tested the Alidian OSN products for interoperability with DWDM systems, TDM crossconnects, ATM switches, and IP routers from Nortel, Lucent, and Cisco, among others.

MAYAN Networks (San Jose) has successfully completed interoperability testing between its Unifier SMX Multiservice SONET platform and add/drop multiplexers from Nortel Networks (Ontario), Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo), and Marconi plc. (Pittsburgh, PA). The announcement marks a major milestone in MAYAN's mission to become a leading provider of TDM-to-IP migration platforms designed for metropolitan-area networks, say company representatives.

WorldCom (Clinton, MS) and Optisphere Networks Inc. (Reston, VA) claim they have boosted the record for the transmission capacity of data, video, and voice traffic on a single installed WorldCom network fiber to 3.2 Tbits/sec during the course of a month-long technology trial. The companies used an existing fiber network in the metropolitan Dallas area and deployed the Optisphere TransXpress Infinity DWDM platform and FOX 40-Gbit/sec multiplexer.

ADVA Optical Networking (Martinsried, Germany and Ramsey, NJ) and INRANGE Technologies Corp. (Mount Laurel, NJ) have entered into a comprehensive partnership agreement that will provide solutions for high-performance storage-networking applications. Per the agreement, INRANGE will sell the ADVA fiber-service-platform product portfolio under the INRANGE IN-VSN Spectrum label, and ADVA will contract INRANGE for field service and levels 1 and 2 support.

Alcoa's AFL Telecommunications (Nashville, TN) has partnered with Xanoptix Inc. (Merrimack, NH) to provide data users with the ability to go faster with end-to-end multimode fiber-optic connections. The solution integrates AFL's end-to-end passive optical solutions with Xanoptix's XTM-1 transceiver and 72-fiber connectors.

Laurel Networks (Swickley, PA) and Agilent Technologies Inc. (San Jose, CA) have announced a partnership to promote industry-standard testing specifications for Multiprotocol Label Switching. According to the companies, the Laurel-Agilent alliance will advance the use of MPLS throughout the network by ensuring interoperability across a spectrum of vendor products.

Oplink Communications Inc. (San Jose) has been issued a U.S. patent for its wavelength optical circulator process, which enables the company to simplify the manufacture of circulators by using fewer components in their production. Oplink has also announced the addition of components based on fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) to its product line. Its FBG components will be used for DWDM, intelligent optical add/drop multiplexing, and gain flattening filters, as well as for dispersion compensation, optical monitoring, and other functions.

Southern Cross Cable Network (Bermuda) has achieved additional capacity sales of $443 million resulting from its third customer meeting in Hawaii last August. The company's total capacity sales are now more than $1.6 billion. The company has also announced that its last link, a 4,127-km segment between Spencer Beach, HI, and Morro Bay, CA, entered into service on February 28, 2001. Southern Cross is now able to deliver fully protected capacity between Australasia and the United States via its dual cable system.

APA Optics Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has entered into an agreement with Harris Corp. (Melbourne, FL) to jointly develop the GEM-20 Ethernet bandwidth expander based on APA's proprietary DWDM technology. According to the companies, GEM-20 allows any 1.25-Gbit/sec multimode or singlemode campus and LAN expand its capacity to 20 Gbits/sec.

Broadwing Communications (Austin, TX) has announced the completion and initiation to commercial service of the eastern optical ring of its all-optical network. Upon final completion of the central and western rings, expected sometime this month, Broadwing will have lit up the first fully optical network.

The Daniel Island Media Co. (DIMC-Charleston, SC) has chosen the FiberPath family of products from Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) to provide fiber-to-the-home technology for telephone, television, and Internet services to the Daniel Island community. According to company representatives, residents will receive state-of-the-art telephone service as well as access to additional broadband services, including 60 channels of analog cable television and high-speed Internet data up to 8 Mbits/sec. In the future, DIMC expects to offer 100-Mbit/sec data capacity, unlimited analog and digital video selections, and pay-per-view services.

Internet service provider Cogent Communications Inc. (Washington, DC) has signed a contract with the Rudin Management Co. (New York City) to equip 16 commercial properties with all-optical 100-Mbit/sec Internet access capability. Per the agreement, Cogent will also become a Rudin Companies tenant at 32 Sixth Avenue, which will serve as Cogent's primary Manhattan hub site. The site is currently under redevelopment by Rudin as the New York Global Connectivity Center, scheduled for completion this year.

360networks (Vancouver) has entered into a three-year, $30-million agreement with Web-hosting company Verio Inc. (Englewood, CO) to provide high-speed optical services on routes in North America and Europe and over 360atlantic, its transatlantic submarine cable. Per the agreement, 360networks will provide its OC-48 optical virtual-private-network transport service on such routes as Chicago to New York, Dallas to Atlanta, and Washington, DC to Palo Alto, CA. 360networks will also supply an STM-16 circuit on 360atlantic and multiple STM-4 circuits on routes connecting London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. Under the agreement, Verio's parent company NTT Communications Corp. and its affiliates may also purchase services from 360networks.

Cervalis LLC (Dutchess County, NY) has chosen Fiber Optek (Wappingers Falls, NY) to construct the infrastructure for its multimillion-dollar data center. The contract covers fiber-optic equipment, copper cabling, ladder racking, and other facilities. The company has already designed, secured permits for, and constructed the interconnection facilities in the public right-of-way to link the Cervalis network to its backbone provider.

WaveSmith Networks (Acton, MA) has unveiled its WaveForm architecture, designed to alleviate the problems carriers are experiencing with today's multiservice switching. The architecture features several patent-pending differentiators, including what it calls the open call model, as well as scalability, non-stop reliability, and form factor.

Bandwidth9 (Fremont, CA) has announced plans to expand its MetroFlex product line and develop variable-wavelength, tunable optical-filter subsystems for application in DWDM networks. Based on Bandwidth9's VCSEL/MEMS tuning technology, the filter modules will be available in the fourth quarter.

FiberNet Telecom Group Inc. (New York) has opened its primary network operations center (NOC) in Newark, NJ. The NOC monitors and proactively responds to customer-service incidents, say company representatives. Scaleable for future network growth and technology development, the NOC will monitor existing facilities in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Metro Optix Inc. (Allen, TX) has announced the general availability of its CityStream metro-optical-networking platform for service providers and the first shipments of its product to customers. The company has also an nounced the completion of its manufacturing and R&D facilities in Allen, TX, to meet its growing product commitments.

Telephotonics Inc. (Wilmington, MA) has emerged from stealth mode and announced the opening of its 23,000-square-foot Optical Wafer Fabrication center. The facility houses the necessary equipment to provide a complete end-to-end optical- com ponent-manufacturing process, including high-volume wafer fabrication. The company has raised $18 million in series A financing from Atlas Venture, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Blue Chip Venture Co.

Enterprise-optical-networking services provider GiantLoop Network Inc. (Waltham, MA) has raised $120 million in Series C funding from Greylock Partners, Pilot House Ventures, and Roger Marino, founder of EMC Corp. Also participating in the round were Nortel Networks, 360networks, Sycamore Networks Inc., Cabletron Systems, and CNT. GiantLoop will use its series C funding to enhance its customer-facing engineering, professional services, and deployment groups and extend its operational support system, network control center, and software-development capabilities.

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions' (ATIS-Washington, DC) Network Services Integration Forum (NSIF) created the Switched Optical Network (SON) Management Group at its February meeting in Austin, TX. The workgroup was formed to identify requirements for management and control architectures, functions, and interfaces to enable efficient and interoperable setup of con nection-oriented and connectionless services in multitechnology networks.

Integrated Micromachines Inc. (Monrovia, CA) has completed a $45-million equity investment, led by Cisco Systems (San Jose), which contributed $25 million. Other investors include Invesco Private Capital, Adams Capital Management, SunAmerica Ventures, and Venture TDF.

BTI Photonics Inc. (Ottawa, Ontario) has received $9.5 million in financing from BCE Capital, Lucent Venture Partners, Primaxis Technology Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Purple Angel, an angel investor group composed mainly of former Nortel executives. BTI plans to use the funds to develop modules and components for the DWDM market.

Integrated photonics company Gemfire (Palo Alto, CA) has raised more than $63 million in its Series C round of funding, bringing its total to more than $85 million. Cisco Systems, Corning, Finisar, Intel Capital, and TriQuint Semiconductor participated in this most recent round. Other investors include venture-capital firms Hook Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Spring Creek Partners.

Tropic Networks Inc. (Andover, MA and Ottawa, Ontario) has completed a second round of financing totaling $60 million. Crescendo Ventures led the round, which included Goldman Sachs, Altamira, and Raza Foundries. First-round investors Celtic House International and Kodiak Venture Partners also participated. Tropic Networks will use the funding to continue development of its optical IP services platform and build out its infrastructure.

Onetta Inc. (San Jose) has secured $56 million in Series B financing. HarbourVest Partners led the round, with additional investments from Sumitomo Corp., JP Morgan H&Q, J&W Seligman, and Series A investors, Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. Onetta will use the funding to expand production capacity of high-end intelligent optical amplifiers and intelligent optical engines.

Networking-components company Iolon Inc. (San Jose) has completed a $53-million strategic financing round led by Bowman Capital. Additional investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Optical Component Group. The funding will enable iolon to complete development of its initial portfolio of tunable optical devices. The company will also ramp production of its first product, a widely tunable high-powered laser that began sampling with select customers last year.

South America

Cooperativa de Electricidad Bariloche Ltda. (CEB-Bariloche, Argentina) has purchased a range of transmission products from Scientific Atlanta Inc. (Atlanta), including analog headend, optoelectronic, and broadband-access-network transmission equipment for use in its new multimedia broadband network. CEB's network is designed to deliver cable television, telephony, and Internet access services to 100,000 residents of Bariloche, Argentina.

Europe

Alcatel Optronics (Paris) and Laser 2000, a specialist distributor of components and instrumentation for telecommunications networks, have signed an agreement to develop the distribution of optical modules and subsystems in Europe. The agreement will enable Alcatel Optronics to extend its services to clients on a localized basis into several countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and Italy. The agreement will also enable Laser 2000 to enrich its product catalog with optoelectronic components.

Moritex Europe (Cambridge, UK), subsidiary of Moritex Corp., has received an order for its FOCAL automated fiber-optical alignment systems for DWDM optical devices from Marconi Optical Components (Northampton, UK). The initial order for 20 of its proprietary FOCAL systems, valued at 1 billion yen, will begin shipment this year. A total of 50 or more units will be delivered to Marconi over the next three years.

France Telecom (Paris) has announced a major upgrade to its worldwide broadband network, boosting total transatlantic capacity to 6 Gbits/sec by opening a new 2.5-Gbit/sec Paris-New York link. By bringing this new link in line with the 2.5-Gbit/sec links available on its North America and European IP backbones, France Telecom expects to provide seamless IP transit at 2.5 Gbits/sec, connecting major cities in Europe and North America. By the end of 2001, service will be further boosted by transatlantic capacity of up to 20 Gbits/sec.

Bookham Technology plc (Oxfordshire, UK) has announced a multimillion-dollar agreement to supply additional ASOC optical components to Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd. (Birmingham, UK). Per the agreement, Bookham will supply Fujitsu with up to 10,000 WDM bidirectional transceiver modules per month in 2001 for use in Fujitsu's FBX-Access platform.

Tenor Networks (Acton, MA) opened its new European development center in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 12, 2001. The company expects its investment in Europe will enable it to leverage the highly skilled technical resources located in the region.

Belgacom SA (Brussels) has chosen to deploy Sorrento Networks' (San Diego) GigaMux optical transport system as part of a managed bandwidth solution of fiber and DWDM. In addition, an integral part of the solution to Belgian-based banking sector customers will be Sorrento's eight-port EPC, a sub-rate multiplexing system, based on Sorrento technology recently granted patent protection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Asia

TyCom Ltd. (Pembroke, Bermuda) has signed an Instruction to Proceed with DishnetDSL Ltd. (Chennai, India) to build an undersea fiber-optic system that, when linked to the transpacific segment of the TyCom Global Network, will provide seamless broadband connectivity between India and the U.S. Per the agreement, TyCom will design and build a fully protected 19,000-km high-capacity undersea ring network interconnecting Chennai with Singapore, Guam, and Jakarta, Indonesia. The network will be known as the SEACN (South East Asia Cable Network) system.

Asia Global Crossing (Hamilton, Bermuda) and DACOM Corp. (Seoul) have formed a 49:51 joint venture called DACOM Crossing to enhance Korea's pan-Asian and pan-world connectivity. DACOM Crossing will provide terrestrial backhaul capacity to carriers, Internet service providers, and multinational corporations between Seoul and Asia Global Crossing's East Asia Crossing, which is expected to land in Korea sometime this quarter.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) has signed a $20-million contract with Shanghai Telecom (Beijing) to provide optical products that are expected to triple the company's local-network-transmission capacity. Per the contract, Shanghai Telecom will deploy eight sets of the Lucent WaveStar bandwidth manager, WaveStar DACS, and WaveStar ADM 16/1 to expand the city's network backbone. Delivery of the equipment began in December 2000.

ShanDong ZiBo Telecom (Zibo, China) will install 10-Gbit/sec optical capacity from Marconi plc (Pittsburgh) to increase the capacity of its networks. Marconi will supply its SDH switching equipment. The contract is Marconi's first in China at this capacity.

Guangdong Telecom Corp., a division of China Telecom (Tokyo), has selected Aura Networks Inc.'s (Nashua, NH) Lancast Intelligent 7500 Chassis and NetBeacon element and service-provisioning management system for business and government use in the Foshan, China district. Aura Networks' products will be integrated into Guangdong Telecom's broadband metropolitan-area network based on Foundry's BigIron 4000 switches and NetIron applications. Revenues from the agreement were expected to exceed $1 million in March 2001 alone.

Mayan Networks (San Jose) has shipped the first revenue units of a multiyear deal with NTT-ME, a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (Tokyo). The order is part of a unique reseller agreement whereby Mayan's Unifier SMX multiservice SONET/SDH platform is featured in NTT-ME's equipment catalog and is being sold directly by NTT-ME.

Alternative operator SingTel (Singapore) has selected Nortel Networks (Ontario) to supply a complete DWDM fiber-optic transport solution. Per the agreement, SingTel will deploy Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 Multiservice platform as an integral part of SingTel GigaWave, launched in October to offer provide high-bandwidth, high-performance, protocol-transparent gigabit services to businesses in Singapore over a DWDM backbone.

Africa · Middle East · Austrailia

Jordan Telecommunications Co. (JTC) has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with FLAG Telecom (London), whereby FLAG will provide STM-1 (155-Mbit/sec) capacity between Aqaba and New York. Under the agreement, data traffic will reach the U.K. on the FLAG Europe-Asia submarine cable system and then on to the U.S. via the FLAG Atlantic-1 dual-cable multiterabit system.

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