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Infinera, Finisar Acquire Big Bear Assets

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 8 -- Optical networking chip specialist Infinera has acquired Big Bear Networks' electronic dispersion compensation assets for telecommunications networks, including intellectual property, a week after Finisar announced its purchase of Big Bear's optical transponder assets for $1.9 million.
Terms of the Infinera deal were not disclosed. Infinera already uses Big Bear's electronic dispersion compensation solutions in its digital optical networking platform, the DTN. Electronic dispersion compensation is one of the features of the DTN system. Infinera offers other advanced electronic capabilities such as 100-GB/s processing and high-gain forward error correction on every DTN. Future versions of Big Bear's dispersion compensation solutions will be developed at Infinera and integrated into Infinera ASICs.
Big Bear Networks, based in Sunnyvale, Calif. (as are Infinera and Finisar), was a venture-backed startup focused on electronic dispersion compensation solutions for optical networks. Dispersion compensation solutions correct for impairments in the optical signal caused by fiber imperfection or other irregularities. But Infinera said its has sold the assets relating to dispersion compensation for multimode fiber transceivers, used primarily in enterprise networks, to another, unnamed company.
Dave Welch, Infinera's chief strategy officer, said, "We have been working with Big Bear for quite some time. We brought their technology in-house because it complements many of the features and functionality our ASIC team has developed. In addition to developing the first large-scale photonic integrated circuits ever deployed in telecom networks, we have been aggressively developing silicon-based integrated circuits to fully exploit the space, power, and reliability benefits of increased integration offered by Digital Optical Networking."
Big Bear Networks produced and marketed its electronic dispersion compensation solutions in integrated circuit form and in transponder form for both the carrier and enterprise markets. Infinera retains all the assets, including intellectual property, for electronic dispersion compensation for single-mode fiber networks, used primarily in telecommunications networks.
Assets acquired by Finisar include equipment, inventory and intellectual property associated with Big Bear's 10-Gigabit Ethernet Xenpak and X2 transponders and its 40-Gb transponder, which it said has already been qualified by a number of telecom equipment companies.
Big Bear realized approximately $4 million in revenues for transponder sales during calendar 2005 through Oct. 31, most of which was for 40-Gb products. Finisar, which will move all of the acquired assets into its facilities in Northern California, said it believes the transaction will be neutral to its bottom line during the first year of operations.
Jerry Rawls, Finisar's president and CEO, said, "This acquisition expands our 10-Gb product offerings and adds new 40-Gb transponders to our product line. The 10-Gb transponders include the industry's most effective dispersion compensation solution that extends the transmission distances over both multimode and single-mode fibers. Furthermore, the 40-Gb transponders put us at the forefront of higher-speed optical transmission products. Industry analysts predict that sales of 40-Gb transponders will expand dramatically by 2008, and we will be there to meet that demand."
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Dec 2005
Big BearBig Bear NetworksCommunicationselectronic dispersion compensationFinisarInfineraNews & Featuresoptical networkingtelecommunications

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