Another Savior of Data Center MM Fiber?

January, 2015

In addition to the development of longer-distance and higher-speed VCSELs, there is a possibility that in the long term, polymer waveguide material embedded in electronics could also help to extend the life of multimode fiber in data centers. Yet right now, the technology appears to be reminiscent of the use of silicon photonics with active components, but without the hype. As with SI photonics, the concept of these types of waveguides has been discussed for many years with the problem of loss being a major concern, and right now, the vast majority of dialog on the latter can be found almost exclusively in engineering papers and patent applications. An exception has been Dow Corning, which has for a while been making somewhat of a marketing push, such as at trade shows with its short-reach interconnects utilizing “low loss,” silicone-based polymer waveguides. Back in early 2013,...

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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...

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Finisar: De Facto Owner of VCSEL Space?

December, 2015

Given that we have learned that Avago Technologies intends to keep only the VCSEL chip fab (in March, we were the first news source to report that the supplier was selling such bare die to other module vendors) in its deal with Foxconn Interconnect Technology, our contention is that there is a good chance that a true duopoly likely no longer exits in the space, and that Finisar may by far become the overwhelming dominant vendor in the space. Simply put, we do not believe that Foxconn’s business model lends itself to becoming a real force in the transceiver business in general. Moreover, its ability to retain the “Avago” legacy, when it comes to 850nm wavelengths that goes back to the mid-1990s with the initial R&D efforts by Hewlett-Packard (later Agilent), will be a tremendous challenge. There is the caveat that extricating the VCSEL fab from the TOSA and subassemblies may be...

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