Fujitsu Labs touts small 25-Gbps per channel optical transceivers

2012-06-06 12:12:47

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Ciena revenues top expectations in 2Q12
Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) reported revenue of $477.6 million for the second quarter of its fiscal 2012, ended April 30. And corporate management said they expect continued strength in the second half of the year.Despite the strong revenue performance, the company still lost $27.8 million ($0.28 per common share) in the quarter on a GAAP basis. Still, Ciena’s performance showed marked improvement over the same quarter in 2011, when the company reported a GAAP net loss of $62.7 million ($0.66 per common share).On a non-GAAP, basis, the company made $3.7 million ($0.04 per common share) during this year’s second quarter.Gross margin declined sequentially during the quarter, to 38.3%, from 40.3% in 1Q12. The company blamed product mix and the delivery of new systems to new customers for the slippage.Packet-optic transport system sales led the revenue charge, growing $51.7 million sequentially. Revenues from the CESD and services segments also rose sequentially. Together, these niches offset a sequential decline in sales of packet-optical switching systems such as the CoreDirector and the relatively new 5400 Reconfigurable Switching System.As has become a common lament, CEO Gary Smith noted that economic turmoil in Europe continues to have an effect on equipment demand. However, he noted that the company has limited exposure to Southern Europe, where the region’s economic problems are most pronounced. He described demand from Ciena’s Northern European customers as “steady” during a conference call with analysts.Smith and Senior Vice President, Finance and CFO James Moylan said they expect revenues for the current quarter, which ends July 31, to range between $455 million and $485 million. They also expressed confidence that the second half of the year will prove positive for the company, including for the currently lagging switching business. Smith says that the company has 19 customers for the 5400 switching platforms, which the company unveiled in September 2009. As a point of comparison, Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications Tom Mock pointed out on the call that this number is already 50% that of the 12-year-old CoreDirector, the 5400’s predecessor. None of the 5400 deployments are with Tier 1 customers so far, it was also revealed. However, Verizon has discussed plans to deploy the 5430 in its network in the future (see “Verizon unveils new optical network strategy”).Ciena also has seen success with its WaveLogic processor-enabled coherent transport offerings. Mock said that the company has 114 customers using its coherent technology. Interestingly, about 105 of them are using coherent technology to support 40-Gbps data rates. About 30 customers are transmitting 100-Gbps wavelengths. A number of customers are doing both, which explains why the total customer number is 114 and not 135.
Fujitsu Labs touts small 25-Gbps per channel optical transceivers
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. says its researchers have developed a compact, cost-effective optical transceiver capable of transmitting 25 Gbps per channel. The development aims to meet the needs of next-generation high-speed servers.Improved driver IC circuit and module packaging structures enable the 25 Gbps per channel performance, Fujitsu Labs says.Current optical transceivers for server interconnect typically range between 10 and 14 Gbps, the lab notes. These devices also are bulky, making it difficult to place near CPUs or other devices.To overcome these challenges, Fujitsu Laboratories says it was able to increase IC circuit speeds by making optical waveforms rise and fall more steeply, even in inexpensive optical devices with insufficiently fast response times. It also used circuit technology that suppresses multiple reflections that degrade the electrical signal's waveform. The two techniques increased data rates from the current 10-14 Gbps to 25 Gbps per channel.Meanwhile, it also addressed optical coupling issues. A typical optical coupling unit comprises a lens component and an optical connector. However, the size of the lens component often is large and expensive, the lab states. Fujitsu’s approach consists of an opto-electric converter with a flexible printed circuit board that has been equipped with optical devices and ICs. The result is a more compact optical transceiver. The labs also developed a cost-effective film-type lens sheet that is stacked on the underside of the flexible PCB.Fujitsu Labs says it used these technologies to create a prototype of a 4x25-Gbps opto-electric converter. With a size of 22x9x0.86 mm (including on-board electrical components and optical waveguide), the lens component is less than one-tenth the size of conventional lens components in opto-electric converters, while the overall unit is less than one-third the conventional size, Fujitsu asserts. Taking advantage of the thin size, Fujitsu Laboratories developed optical transceivers with the prototype opto-electric converters placed on both sides. Transmitters and receivers both utilized eight channels with a size of 47.8x16x 21.6 mm, enabling adjacent devices such as the CPU on the printed circuit board to occupy a smaller area.
AT&T building FTTP network for new residential development
Just in case you thought AT&T (NYSE:T) had forgotten how to build a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, the carrier and real estate developer Sudberry Properties say that AT&T will offer its U-verse services to residents of Sudberry’s upcoming Civita community in San Diego via FTTP.Sudberry is in the process of building an upscale residential community on the site of a 70-year-old sand and gravel quarry. Plans for the 230-acre property call for 4,780 residential homes and apartments in numerous configurations, approximately 480,000 square feet for a lifestyle retail center, and 420,000 square feet for an office/business campus.AT&T will serve these facilities with U-verse services including TV and Internet. The agreement also provides for free AT&T Wi-Fi access in pool and recreation areas as well as other common areas within the community, such as a proposed park. An AT&T “community concierge” will offer Civita residents assistance with initial ordering and installation.“Bringing fiber optic capabilities to every home is part of our commitment to make Civita an innovative urban village that is rooted in sustainability, advanced technology, connectedness, and architectural vitality,” said Colton Sudberry, president of Sudberry Properties.
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