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COBO: Mismanaging One Person’s Power

September, 2019

At OFC 2019, this writer happened to be sitting next to an analyst, who is with what is officially considered, by certain people in the market, as an influential research firm. I told this individual that at a couple of relevant presentations from Microsoft, including one from Jeff Cox, Partner Director Network Architecture, that I did not hear the term, COBO mentioned – and that our company position was that Brad Booth, Principal Network Hardware Manager, at the cloud player, was totally responsible for pushing that concept. The response was, “Well, you know that Cox is Booth’s boss.” (Of course, I nodded affirmatively, while thinking to myself, “Wow, I am supposed to assume that I was taken to school!”) The reason why I did not ask Cox at that other session about COBO was because I was more alarmed by his insistence that there would not be a need for MultiMode Fiber...

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Finisar: Agonizing Wait to Cultural Disaster

September, 2019

  Some previous assumptions go out the window, and certain, subsequent actions make greater sense, with our current understanding that Finisar’s destiny was out of the hands of its founder, Jerry Rawls. He did not voluntarily retire, but was forced to step down, from the CEO’s office, by the board of directors of the corporation. Looked at in this new context, we would assert that Rawls could have likely saved himself by just using a little imagination in making the financing work to enable a purchase of Oclaro. The appointment of the last CEO was only for one purpose: to sell the firm (of course, his quick dismissal validates that claim). Now while the trade conflict between China and the US allows the people working at Finisar to wish that approval for the deal with II-VI will not happen, it is probably inevitable that the culture of the former will erode anyway, whether it...

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Throwing Down the Gauntlet at ECOC 2019

September, 2019

  On our second blog, it was mentioned that fibeReality tried to get formal confirmation on the coming death of COBO as well as challenged the usual rosy view of silicon photonics at the same workshop. Moreover, there was our disappointing take on the subsequent event in the same conference room. We also had a mixed reaction to Infinera’s XR Optics concept. In this article, we will discuss several other provocations, which took place during Market Focus sessions. Certainly, the most stunning reaction to one of our questions in Dublin came from Tom Williams, Vice President of Marketing for Acacia Communications, who was discussing the possibility of the marketplace taking too many small steps in achieving 400G without looking to immediately get up to 1.6 terabits in the future. Given that Cisco Systems’ previous acquisition of the DSP provider at 100G, CoreOptics, did not really...

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3DS VCSELs: Instantaneous Bubble Burst

October, 2019

  fibeReality retraced the last three years of the six-inch 3D Sensing (3DS) VCSEL wafer marketplace as part of our preparation efforts in presenting at an EPIC conference last week. As a result of our latest intelligence gathering efforts, it became evident that simultaneous to the great achievement by Lumentum Holdings (along with its partners) in shipping more apertures within a two-month period in the fall of 2017 than in the entire history of such devices, there was the beginning of a marketplace “pop,” which gradually worsened. In particular, there were a couple of vital matters left out of what otherwise seemed to be a very successful story. After initially dismissing Finisar because it remained stubborn about sticking with the four-inch VCSEL diameter, Apple was forced to go back to the supplier to renegotiate a contract to obtain a rather substantial number of wafers at...

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Infinera’s XR Optics: “Fat & Happy” Front

October, 2019

At first blush, it seems illogical for Infinera, a supplier, which has been fighting for its survival, to be promoting a revolutionary change in the aggregation and access portions of the optical marketplace. However, fibeReality now believes the company chose to amend its “Tellabsation” counternarrative because manufacturing its own proprietary 800-gig DSP daughter card (using subcarriers), with similar functionality to the AC1200 from Acacia Communications (planned to become part of Cisco Systems) in order to compete with Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme, is deemed critical to the future success of the Groove platform as well as for the current leadership to maintain at least a minimum amount of credibility. While nobody should bet the farm on XR Optics, given the challenging hurdles that need to be overcome, the effort would not only make the transition away from being a PIC-based...

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