BLOG

IBM Dimming Silicon Photonics Hype Level

July, 2015

Although the hoopla over silicon photonics (SP) has not been as pronounced at IBM as at Intel, including consistent involvement by technologists at the highest corporate layer of the latter, the former was heavily promoting the development of these chips for a long time as well. Each company had been spending R&D funds on SP since 2000. There is ample evidence that by the autumn of 2014, IBM decided to tone down any excessive rhetoric on the technology through changes in management and by shifting some of the public relations focus on leading-edge development away from silicon-based solutions. fibeReality noted in October of last year that IBM’s announcement of $3 billion in spending on chip development placed a good amount of emphasis on non-silicon alternatives. However, it is now our impression that the money mentioned in the July, 2014 press release was not really a new...

Read More

Mellanox’s Messaging Resonance Not Key to Success

July, 2015

Mellanox Technologies is a typical Israeli-based firm in the datacom/telecom space in that it excels at technology development, but not necessarily from a marketing/sales perspective. While the vendor has expanded internationally and has its second headquarters in the US (including several of the top CXOs), which is potentially helpful to corporate communications, it appears that much of the culture still reflects Yokneam rather than Sunnyvale. Nonetheless, although getting its fair share of appreciation for its technical strengths may at times be problematic for Mellanox, its rather consistently positive financial performance as well as its impressive installed base of customers speak volumes – and when the supplier happens to place an emphasis in its messaging in a potentially questionable way, insufficient outside attention may actually be quite beneficial. A good illustration of...

Read More

Avago’s Spinoff of Optics in Short Term?

August, 2015

While for now, Avago Technologies will be preoccupied with the immense and time-consuming effort of its integration process with Broadcom, not too long afterwards, it would not be surprising if there would be a spin-off that would include a large number of the combined company’s optical networking assets. The progressive shift from a technology-focused firm to one that is more business-oriented should inevitably go beyond just making further sizable acquisitions, but to improve the balance sheet through aggressive divestment. Although KKR does not hold a stake in Avago anymore, we believe the supplier has been heavily influenced by the private equity firm’s modus operandi – purchase assets, find value, package parts, and sell off. One may easily presume that calling the merger, “Broadcom” instead of “Avago” probably has significance for its future technology direction....

Read More

Inphi a Threat to InnoLight or Kaiam?

August, 2015

Once again, we have a natural affinity for the proposition of taking advantage of electronics, such as higher order modulation, to better enable optics by squeezing more data onto a single wavelength. However, by the time, Inphi is ready to ramp up production fully on its four-level pulse amplitude modulation devices, both InnoLight Technology and Kaiam will have sold a large quantity of their optical-centric componentry to both hyperscale Data Center (DC) operators as well as to OEM providers. Hopefully, within this time, Kaiam will have joined its direct competitor in filing for an IPO (assuming a certain amount of stabilization in the stock market) by stressing the former, sexier types of customers, “Google Plus,” forgive the pun. So, in effect, to whatever extent Inphi has success with PAM-4, for all intents and purposes, it will perhaps indefinitely, likely be more of a...

Read More

Avago Optical Assets Sold, Pointed Out by FoxConn PR

September, 2015

A recent press release written in Chinese apparently demonstrates that Hon Hai Precision Industry’s Foxconn Interconnect Technology has purchased some of Avago Technologies’ optical product lines. Our current understanding is that Foxconn will take over Avago’s module business fully, such as for QSFP transceivers, which has lower margins because of a high level of market competition, with the latter still providing the former with higher margin components, including lasers, TOSA/ROSAs, etc. FoxConn excels in the low-cost assembly process of incorporating such components. In fact, in what has been described by an executive at another optical company as a fantastically brilliant strategy of giving the assets away, including the Singapore operation, development people in the US, sales and marketing, etc., while maximizing margins, it is our present belief that Foxconn did not pay...

Read More