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Juniper’s Aurrion Buyout: Tech Nightmare?

August, 2016

Juniper Networks probably had very good reasons for becoming more vertically integrated in the optical space including perhaps the need to internally control its supply of transceivers as well as maybe strengthen its competitive position by acquiring intellectual property. Yet, its purchase of Aurrion and its complex set of moving parts at what seems to be a rather handsome price for the componentry company’s investors appears even more questionable than the router firm's previous pickup of BTI Systems. Aurrion’s focus is on wafer integration, the same type of technology that Intel has struggled to commercialize in the past. Although once again, following the industry in moving away from the original vision of silicon photonics, in our opinion, this particular adoption of a hybrid platform is truly challenging in placing tiny layers of Indium Phosphide onto the Si wafer. Putting aside th ...

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Lumentum Overtaken by Finisar at Apple?

July, 2017

When it comes to 3D-sensors, both Lumentum Holdings and Finisar are being gutsy in striving to make a tremendous amount of penetration, not only away from their traditional market strongholds, but also in a new product space, VCSEL dies, (arguably even a somewhat brand, new experience for Lumentum), which has technology challenges not meant for the fainthearted. Those individuals following our other blog have been able to keep up with some of the potential minefields in being a chip vendor to Apple’s iPhone including 1) only a minimum of two vendors needed for Apple to lower prices to shockingly low levels (and other smartphone competitors will expect their charges to be in the same ballpark); 2) the effects of iPhone pricing strategy itself; and 3) the increasing willingness for Apple to bring chip production in-house, and even leasing manufacturing equipment out, if a particular vendor ...

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Lumentum: The Street’s Latest Sacred Cow

November, 2017

There was Infinera with the unflinching belief of the cost benefits of PICs (which in our opinion, was never proven), and being oblivious to a traditional long-haul player forcing Transmode to take a backseat in its metro program. Then there was Acacia Communications, although a highly proficient technology company, and the beneficiary of the positioning of its IPO during a perfect storm, the valuation for just a DSP player became absurd. Later it was Applied Optoelectronics, which pretty much had the 40G market to itself for intra-data centers transceivers along with a very low-cost operation, while there was inadequate appreciation for both the low-entry barriers at 100G as well as the other drawbacks of being in the hyperscale space. Now Lumentum Holdings remains the latest darling on the Street based solely on apparently being the market leader in 3D-sensing, while not questioning th ...

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