Sunday, January 8, 2017

Joint Venture Manufacturing – Planar Lightwave Circuits and Optical Semiconductors

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (President: Mitsuyoshi Shibata; hereinafter, Furukawa Electric) announced that it reached an agreement with NTT Electronics Corporation (President and Chief Operating Officer: Kazuo Hagimoto; hereinafter, NTT Electronics) to establish two joint venture manufacturing companies for planar lightwave circuits and optical semiconductors.

The need for stable and efficient supply capability of optical components has increased in response to the demand created by rapid growth in cloud services.

Furukawa Electric and NTT Electronics seek to create stable product supply capabilities for planar lightwave circuits and optical semiconductors by promoting efficient use of both companies’ manufacturing resources and by strengthening their business continuity plans.

New Company Overview

Company Names

  • NTT Electronics Optech Corporation
    • Planar Lighwave Circuit Manufacture
    • Capital: JPY100 million
    • Investment Ratio:
      • NTT Electronics: 80%
      • Furukawa Electric: 20%
    • Operation Start: April 2017 (Anticipated)           
  • Furukawa FITEL Optical Device Co., Ltd.
    • Optical Semiconductor Manufacture
    • Capital: JPY100 million
    • Investment Ratio:
      • Furukawa Electric: 60%
      • NTT Electronics: 40%
    • Operation Start: April 2017 (Anticipated)           

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Embedded OTDR - SFP Optical Transceiver Market Forecast

Remote Fiber Optic Testing – Market Forecast

According to ElectroniCast Consultants, OTDR devices (all types) used in Remote Fiber Testing and Monitoring is forecasted to reach $230.6 million in the year 2021. 

Aptos, CA (USA) – December 29, 2016 -- ElectroniCast Consultants, a leading market and technology research consultancy addressing the fiber optics communications industry, today announced the release of an extensive study report covering the worldwide market for Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) - based devices used for remote continuous (active monitoring - 24/7) or periodic/scheduled remote testing/monitoring of optical fiber lines.

Market Forecast Covers the following Device Types --

The worldwide use of OTDR devices (all types) used in Remote Fiber Testing and Monitoring is forecasted to reach $230.6 million in the year 2021.  The market review and forecast covers the use of rack/bench-top OTDRs; portable OTDRs; and lastly, embedded mini/micro OTDRs built into Small Form factor Pluggable (SFP) optical transceivers.

According to the ElectroniCast market study, the consumption value of SFP optical transceivers, which have an embedded (integrated) OTDR for detecting problem-points along an optical fiber link, is forecasted to dominate the market share of OTDR devices in remote fiber testing and monitoring applications.

“Critical-use/high data-rate optical fiber links are increasing to meet huge bandwidth demands; increasing the number of links at an explosive growth rate,” said Stephen Montgomery, director of the fiber optic component group at ElectroniCast.

“The demand to add more bandwidth capability in a smaller space (smaller footprint), along with improving service-level agreement (SLA) pressures, are just a few of the many strong selling points for the use of embedded OTDR/SFP transceivers,” Montgomery added.

For More Information --

This market forecast report is available immediately from ElectroniCast Consultants. For detailed information on this or other services provided by ElectroniCast, please contact Theresa Hosking, Marketing/Sales;  
(Telephone/USA: 831-708-2381)

ElectroniCast Consultants – specializes in forecasting trends in technology forecasting, markets and applications forecasting, strategic planning and consulting. ElectroniCast Consultants, as a technology-based independent forecasting firm, serves industrial companies, trade associations, government agencies, communication and data network companies and the financial community.  Reduction of the risk of major investment decisions is the main benefit provided.  ElectroniCast Consultants’ goal is to understand the challenges and opportunities facing clients and to provide timely, accurate information for strategic planning.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

High-performance OTDR module for remote fiber test systems

November (2016) – Yokogawa Europe unveiled the AQ7277B, a high-performance optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) module for use with remote fiber-test systems (RFTS).

An RFTS is a test system designed to improve the efficiency of operation and maintenance management of optical fiber lines, which are installed at a fiber-optic cable termination station. The system works by constantly monitoring individual fibers in the cable using the OTDR technology for continuous measurements and is able to indicate a failure location on an electronic map. Having done so it then notifies maintenance staff.

The test system is intended to speed up the identification and location of failures (such as increased loss, fiber breaks and water ingress) and it also enables a maintenance center to test the installed equipment as a remote manual test during cable installation. The ability to perform automatic testing of multiple fibers at once saves installation labor time and costs and reduces the overall work period required.

According to the company, the time saved by using an RFTS to locate and isolate the first fiber break can pay for itself by yielding a full return on investment and achieving a higher level of customer satisfaction through improved quality of service.”

The hardware of the AQ7277B OTDR module is based on Yokogawa’s AQ7280 OTDR, using its optical performance in terms of short dead zone (0.6 m typical) and high dynamic range (up to 50 dB). Moreover, its size is reduced by 60% compared to its predecessor, which improves its integration into the RFTS. Its dimensions are now 230 mm (W) × 50 mm (H) × 140 mm (D), and weight is approximately 1 kg.

There are two models in the AQ7277B family, both equipped with an Ethernet (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX) interface as standard. The AQ7277B-B01 takes measurements at 1650 nm, a wavelength that does not affect the communication wavelengths of 1310/1490/1550 nm. It is equipped with a built-in cutoff filter to isolate it from wavelengths lower than 1650 nm, and so can perform accurate measurements on “live” lines (where active communication signals are traveling). This model is also optimized for testing passive optical networks (PON), and can measure through the high-port-count splitters used in modern PON systems.

The AQ7277B-B02 is designed for monitoring long-distance optical fibers – greater than 200 km in real-life environmental conditions - -being capable of a 50 dB dynamic range. It operates at a wavelength of 1550 nm.

Source: Yokogawa Europe

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NeoPhotonics Announces Definitive Agreement to Sell Low Speed Transceiver Business to APAT Optoelectronics

Increases Focus on Photonic Integration Solutions for High Speed 100G and Beyond Networks
Company Updates Business Outlook for Fourth Quarter of 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2016-- NeoPhotonics (NYSE: NPTN) (“NEOPHOTONICS” or the “Company”), a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced hybrid photonic integrated optoelectronic modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high-speed communications networks, today announced that it executed a definitive agreement, to sell its Access and Low Speed transceiver product lines (the “Low Speed Business”) to APAT Optoelectronics Components Co., Ltd. (“APAT OE”) of Shenzhen, China, a designer and manufacturer of optical sub-assemblies for telecom and datacom markets.

The assets to be sold include the intellectual property, inventory and fixed assets for NeoPhotonics’ PON products including GPON and GEPON transceiver products at up to 10G data rates, plus 10G and below telecom, bidirectional and specialty transceiver products.

The transaction is valued at approximately $26.4 million, inclusive of post-closing payments under a Transition Services Agreement. The transaction value consists of an equivalent of $25.0 million purchase price plus an additional equivalent of $1.4 million to be paid as certain transition services are delivered. The consideration consists of not less than the equivalent of $23.0 million to be paid in cash in China Renminbi at close and not more than $2.0 million in a US dollar denominated promissory note. In addition, the purchaser will assume outstanding supply chain purchase commitments and will be responsible for payment of value-added tax obligations. The purchase price is subject to adjustment after closing for inventory adjustments and by up to $10 million in the event of potential claims under transaction warranty commitments of NeoPhotonics. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in January 2017. The purchaser is further subject to a $1.0 million breakup fee to be held in escrow, which will be applied to the purchase price upon closing or forfeited if the transaction does not close due to certain reasons attributable to the purchaser.

The secured promissory note of up to $2.0 million is for an initial term of six months with an initial interest rate of 6.0% per annum. The note is renewable at six month intervals with an increase in the interest rate by an additional 4% per annum. The note will be secured by inventory and certain fixed assets being purchased in the transaction.

In 2015, and for the first 9 months of 2016, the Low Speed Business generated $92.8 million and $50.7 million in revenue, respectively, and gross profit of $16.7 million and $9.7 million, respectively. Net assets for the business were approximately $18.0 million as of September 30, 2016.

Commenting on the transaction, Tim Jenks, NeoPhotonics Chief Executive Officer, stated, “After a comprehensive evaluation of the alternatives available for the Low Speed Business, we believe this transaction will best benefit our shareholders, customers, and employees. This transaction underscores our objective to focus our efforts on growing high speed optical networking products and solutions based on our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology platform to meet customer demand.” Jenks continued, “We believe the Low Speed Business will benefit from APAT OE's expertise in Access and PON products while continuing to provide quality products, support and services to customers.”

“We are excited to have the NeoPhotonics low speed product team join APAT, and look forward to having more products to sell to our largest customers as well as the opportunity this transaction creates for us to gain many new customers,” commented Rex Gu, Founder and CEO of APAT OE.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as the exclusive financial advisor to NeoPhotonics for the transaction. Proskauer, Rose served as legal counsel to NeoPhotonics.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Anritsu - Test Automation Tool: Both RF and Optical Testing Needs

Source: Anritsu Company
MORGAN HILL, Calif., Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Anritsu Company releases a new version of its award-winning SkyBridge Tools™ Test Manager that supports OTDR measurements to establish the industry's first comprehensive field test automation tool that supports both RF and optical testing. By reducing test time by as much as 90% and increasing accuracy more than 10 times, SkyBridge Tools dramatically simplifies network installation verification, allowing contractors to close out projects more efficiently, receive prompt payment, and start new projects faster.

The new SkyBridge Tools brings full test automation to the Anritsu Access Master™ MT9083 OTDR and Network Master™ Pro MT1000 optical transport tester. By allowing users to quickly create detailed test plans, script one-off field tests, judge the results and create reports, SkyBridge Tools is a perfect cloud-based solution for RF contractors who must test DAS and cellular towers, as well as fiber contractors working in data centers, hybrid DAS, fronthaul/backhaul, and metro and core networks.

SkyBridge Tools now has numerous features for more efficient testing of fiber optic cables. A fiber test wizard automatically generates test plans that include fiber naming conventions, test setup, judgement criteria, and bi-directional test support. The new and complete OTDR criteria has a standard mode to simplify setting up test criteria and an advanced mode that offers full control of all the testing parameters, covering even the most demanding testing requirements. The Instrument Automation Mode test feature completely automates the field test setup and process. This supplies a single icon that eliminates all optical configuration, threshold settings, and file naming processes. Pass/Fail trace judgement is completed based on the test plan and criteria. VIP Pass/Fail judgement and easy reporting are also provided.

Expanded Test Capability       Anritsu also announces that the Site Master™ S331P ultraportable cable and antenna analyzer and PIM Master™ MW82119B portable analyzer are now fully supported by SkyBridge Tools, including creating test criteria, wizards, test plans, scripting, trace judgement, and reporting. The new features of SkyBridge Tools further position it as the most comprehensive test automation solution on the market. It brings simplified testing processes to the network installation workflow, resulting in less time testing, more accurate tests, and reliable payment for work done.

About Anritsu

Anritsu Company is the United States subsidiary of Anritsu Corporation, a global provider of innovative communications test and measurement solutions for 120 years. Anritsu's "2020 VISION" philosophy engages customers as true partners to help develop wireless, optical, microwave/RF, and digital solutions for R&D, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance applications, as well as multidimensional service assurance solutions for network monitoring and optimization. Anritsu also provides precision microwave/RF components, optical devices, and high-speed electrical devices for communication products and systems. The company develops advanced solutions for 5G, M2M, IoT, as well as other emerging and legacy wireline and wireless communication markets. With offices throughout the world, Anritsu has approximately 4,000 employees in over 90 countries.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

100 Gbps for Data Centers

Source: Renesas Electronics Corporation
TOKYO, Japan, October 25, 2016 -Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of the new series of semiconductor laser diodes, the “NX6375AA Series”. The newly developed direct modulation distributed feedback laser diodes (DFB LDs, Note 1) support 25 Gbps × four wavelengths operation as the light sources in 100 Gbps optical transceivers that are used for communication between servers and routers installed in data centers.

The NX6375AA Series enables system developers to develop high-speed optical transceivers and optical modules that are highly reliable even in high-temperature environments, and the new series can be implemented in the servers and routers used in data centers. The NX6375AA Series is available for mass production.

Recently, due to the popularity of cloud computing for the IoT era, the scale and processing capacity of data centers that are connected to the internet and handle large amounts of data are expected to increase at an annual rate of 59 percent (Note 2). In the optical transceivers used for communication between the servers and routers in the data centers in that environment, there is now demand for increased speeds in the transmission rates, and it is expected that the 100 Gbps systems, which will replace the current mainstream 40 Gbps systems, will see an annual growth rate of 75 percent (Note 2).

However, there is concern that the increasing system heat generation, which is proportional to the communication speed, could make the system operating state become unstable, therefore, achievement of both stable operations in high-temperature environments and higher communications speeds has become a major issue for optical transceivers.

Renesas launched its semiconductor LDs for this area starting in 2004, when the communications rate was 10 Gbps. The new NX6375AA LD Series support 100 Gbps systems, which are expected to become the mainstream in communications systems in the future and by resolving the issues in this area as described above, will contribute to higher speeds and increased reliability in user optical transceiver devices.

Key features of the new NX6375AA Series:

(1) Industry’s first to achieve stable operation at up to 28 Gbps per wavelength over an operating temperature range of Tc = -5°C to 85°C
The LDs not only support 100 Gbps with four wavelengths, but also are capable of supporting up to 112 Gbps systems. Furthermore, the LDs use Renesas' unique embedded structure and adopt aluminum gallium indium arsenic (AlGaInAs) as their materials. Therefore, the LDs can achieve a maximum 28 Gbps transmission rate over the wide operating temperature range of Tc = -5°C to 85°C by optimizing the DFB structure(Note 2).

The four wavelengths in the LD series are 1271, 1291, 1311, and 1331 nanometer (nm), which support the wavelength spacing of the CWDM (Note 3), Renesas’ unique technology.

(2) Assuring high reliability of an MTTF of 100,000 hours (Note 4)
To enable these LDs to be used safely in data center environments, Renesas used narrow width selection growth technology for the wafer crystal growth, controlled crystal defects in the active layer, and formed a protective aluminum oxide layer (Renesas’ unique technology). Since aluminum oxidation can be controlled during fabrication, these laser diodes achieve the industry leading mean time to failure (MTTF) level of 100,000 hours, assuring a high reliability (Note 4).

Renesas intends to actively expand its LD lineup for 100 Gbps high-speed communication applications. Renesas is also working on expanding the operating temperature range of its LDs in the low temperature direction, which is required for applications such as communications base stations. Furthermore, Renesas can provide solution proposals with even higher levels of added value by combining these LDs with Renesas high-speed optical reception devices and Renesas microcontrollers (MCUs).

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the NX6375AA Series are available now, priced at US$50 per wavelength. Mass production began today and is expected to reach a scale of 100,000 units per month in April 2017 for four wavelengths. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

Refer to the separate sheet (PDF: 98 KB) for specifications of the NX6375AA Series.

  • (Note 1) Distributed feedback laser diode. A type of LD that has an internal diffraction lattice structure and features single mode resonance. The DFB LD is well suited for high-speed communications applications.
  • (Note 2) Based on Renesas research (October 25, 2016)
  • (Note 3) CWDM: Coarse wavelength division multiplexing. A technique in which optical signals with differing wavelengths (that is, multiple channels) are transmitted over a single optical fiber. With these devices, 4 wavelengths at 25 Gbps each gives a total capacity of 100 Gbps.
  • (Note 4) Reliability of an MTTF of 100,000 hours is not guaranteed.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live—securely and safely. The number one global supplier of microcontrollers, and a leader in Analog & Power and SoC products, Renesas provides the expertise, quality, and comprehensive solutions for a broad range of Automotive, Industrial, Home Electronics (HE), Office Automation (OA) and Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications to help shape a limitless future. Learn more at
(Remarks) All registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advanced Optical Sensors

Augusta Signs an Agreement to develop Advanced Optical Sensors

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 30, 2016) - Augusta Industries Inc. (the "Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:AAO) is pleased to announce that FOX-TEK Canada Inc. ("FOX-TEK"), the Corporation's wholly owned subsidiary, has entered into an agreement with FBGS to develop advanced optical sensors. These sensors will not be based on the existing standard strain FBG sensors, that FOX-TEK currently uses, but rather the development of sensors that can detect anomalous changes in operating conditions where they are installed. For example, the detection of a certain chemical within its 'sniffing' range.

The partnership with FBGS will enable FOX-TEK to remain a competitive leader in the field of optical sensors. While optical strain sensors still have a large use throughout the industry, the same industry is demanding access to sensors that are able to perform more specific detection and/or measurements. This allows for quicker response to any unwanted changes and, in turn, allows the industry to quickly respond to potential threats to the integrity of their operations.

Allen Lone, President and CEO of the Corporation, commented: "This partnership is critical for us to maintain our competitive edge and to permit us to grow into new unexploited markets."

FOX-TEK fully expects the existing market demand for advanced, cost efficient sensors to continue to grow over the years. FOX-TEK will continue to bring these new technologies to both new and existing clients - which is exactly what the industry has come to expect from us.

About the Corporation

Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Marcon International Inc. ("Marcon") and FOX-TEK, the Corporation provides a variety of services and products to a number of clients.

Marcon is an industrial supply contractor servicing the energy sector and a number of US Government entities. Marcon's principal business is the sale and distribution of industrial parts and equipment (Electrical, mechanical and Instrumentation.) In addition to departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, Marcon's major clients include International (Oil & Gas, Refining and Petrochemica Plants.)

FOX-TEK develops non-intrusive asset health monitoring sensor systems for the oil and gas market to help operators track the thinning of pipelines and refinery vessels due to corrosion/erosion, strain due to bending/buckling and process pressure and temperature. The Corporation's FT fiber optic sensor and corrosion monitoring systems allow cost-effective, 24/7 remote monitoring capabilities to improve scheduled maintenance operations, avoid unnecessary shutdowns, and prevent accidents and leaks.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions, uncertainties and management's best estimates of future events. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements are detailed from time to time in the Corporation's periodic reports filed with the Ontario Securities Commission and other regulatory authorities. The Corporation has no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.