OFC 2019: Nine Additional Odds and Ends

March, 2019

Before getting to the subject of this article, I need to point out the most significant and outstanding event at OFC: Mitch Fields at the “Special Chair Session” on the “Role of Optics in Future Data Center and Computing Applications.” He moved and wowed everyone in that packed room as he talked about his courageous battle with brain tumor, as he thanked former optical engineers who have worked on his novel form of treatment, and as he validated his position as one of the top engineers in the optics business. Ken Chang, the following speaker, aptly stated that such an inspiring presentation helps all of us to keep things in perspective. Glenn Wellbrock of Verizon at the “Broadband Acceleration Seminar” of the Broadband Forum pointed out what separates a serious 5G player from the rest of the wireless providers in the US -- that it is deploying fiber as quickly as it arrives...

Read More

Infinera: Plausibility for Cautious Optimism

May, 2019

After so many years of a stubborn, false narrative that its PICs provided a true-cost advantage, without acknowledging their technological drawbacks, including that their optimal play was always for point-to-point applications, as opposed to routes with drops, Infinera has finally given in on just heavily favoring its products developed in-house, such as on DCI gear, as well as on orchestration software. Such developments by themselves would not cause a much greater level of confidence in the supplier this late in the game, when it is as hard as ever for optical system houses to differentiate their products. By far, the potentially most significant change for Infinera is the recent appointment to its corporate board, Greg Dougherty, ex-CEO of Oclaro. Of course, he was on the board of Oclaro, before taking over the company, and then was behind the minor miracle of saving it from...

Read More

Inphi: Boosting Valuation for Later Exit

November, 2019

While fibeReality is unaware of the exact date of when Chuck Mattera, the CEO, of II-VI, negated the proposal to buy out Finisar’s IC group, it was around the time of Inphi’s rhetoric seemingly signaling a desire to exit. We understand that Ford Tamer, Inphi’s CEO, was pretty devastated by the refusal. Both Tamer and Michael Hurlston, Finisar’s ex-CEO definitely underestimated Mattera, at least on this deal. Perhaps if permission was received, it may have led to a relatively immediate acquisition of Inphi by Broadcom, for not only the InP capability that would have been gained from Finisar’s IC group, especially in anticipation of Broadcom moving upstream with transceivers (albeit, we continue to believe in a very targeted way), but also the other chip capabilities that the big IC firm either lacked, or would be able to gain additional market share. After getting burned on...

Read More