SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 8 -- ONI Systems Corp., a provider of all-optical transport systems for metro and regional markets, will expand into a 54,000 sq-ft office near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The new facility can house up to 200 employees and will enable ONI Systems to further expand its research and development programs on the East Coast and accelerate the development of its all-optical telecommunications products by adding additional software, verification and product support engineers. In addition, the new lab space will provide facilities dedicated to customer service, customer demonstrations and trials, first class training and interoperability lab testing. The expansion is set for April of this year.ONI Systems first moved to the Research Triangle Park area in May 2000, hiring an initial core staff of 20 software design and test engineers specializing in optical transport and data technologies, such as gigabit Ethernet, fiber channel and Internet protocol. Today, the company employs more than 40 people there with plans to hire additional employees throughout 2001. ONI's presence in RTP has proven to be extremely beneficial in recruiting talented engineers, as well as in supporting customers on the East Coast and in Europe, said Pamela Adams, vice president of ONI's Lightwave Design Center. This facility expansion will support the company's planned growth in 2001 and beyond. We continue to be excited by the opportunities available to ONI within North Carolina.