Olympus, Movaz pair on optical MEMs

April 12, 2006 Tokyo, Japan and Atlanta, GA -- Olympus Corp. and Movaz Networks have created a joint venture company, named Olympus Microsystems America, Inc., in order to globally provide micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based technologies and products to optical equipment suppliers.

April 12, 2006 Tokyo, Japan and Atlanta, GA -- Olympus Corp. and Movaz Networks have created a joint venture company, named Olympus Microsystems America, Inc., in order to globally provide micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based technologies and products to optical equipment suppliers.

According to a press release, the joint venture was entered into by Mr. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, president of Olympus Corp. of Tokyo, Japan, and Mr. Bijan Khosravi, chairman and CEO of Movaz Networks, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia. The parties say that combining Movaz IP and engineering resources with Olympus' established MEMS foundry services and optical technology will result in a new company with the capability to develop, manufacture, and market new products with anticipated gross sales of 6 billion Japanese yen (approximately $60 million) within 5 years.

Olympus Microsystems America, Inc. will be based in San Jose, California, with Olympus Partnership Development Group (Olympus-PDG) vice president Lawrence Wang serving as the president of the new company. The Advanced Optical Technology team of Movaz's R&D engineers will work with the staff of the Olympus-PDG in conjunction with the technical and production resources of Olympus Corp. in Tokyo, Japan to further expand the portfolio of products using MEMS and free-space optical technologies.

The first jointly developed product, a MEMS-based wavelength selective switch (WSS) for reconfigurable optical add-drop modules (ROADM), has been deployed since last August in Movaz's Multi-Degree RAY ROADM network to provide extended reach to key government and university sites including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), and the National Lambda Rail.

Olympus Microsystems America, Inc. will also develop business for new products, technology, and markets with a focus on MEMS-based activities including ROADM products, variable optical attenuators (VOA), small switches, optical cross connects (OXC), aspheric lenses, and tunable filters.

"Olympus established the Partnership Development Group in October 2001 with the mission to create strategic alliances that transcend the standard OEM customer-supplier relationship," comments Lawrence Wang, president of Olympus Microsystems America, Inc. "We recognized that by leveraging Olympus' world-class manufacturing facilities and global sales, marketing, and customer support resources, we could bring to market revolutionary new MEMS products. This joint venture is a milestone for Olympus and demonstrates the power of our partnership model."

Olympus Microsystems America, Inc. will deliver the cornerstone ROADM module as a highly integrated package of optics, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS), and MEMS, in a compact form factor that it says can be economically deployed.

"The extensive investment that Olympus is making in Movaz's patented optical switching technologies is a tremendous validation of the values that this technology can realize towards establishing a truly all-optical network," comments Bijan Khosravi, chairman and CEO of Movaz Networks. "The ability to reconfigure network resources to make services instantaneously available has been desired by providers for the last decade."

"The Olympus motto 'Your Vision, Our Future' is exemplified in the joint venture signed today between Movaz Networks and Olympus," concludes Dr. Koichi Karaki, division manager, MEMS technology division, Olympus Corp., and chairman of Olympus Microsystems America, Inc. "Movaz had the vision to deliver on the world's first in-service deployment of a multi-degree, multi-ring switching RAY-ROADM network. Olympus-PDG brought the resources to help make the vision a reality. Together we have built a future in Olympus Microsystems America, Inc., which will significantly expand the capabilities of optical communications."

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