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Cisco: Buyer of Potential Finisar-JDSU Combo?

December, 2014

If Finisar purchases JDSU’s CCOP division, would a systems integrator be interested in buying the combination? Unquestionably, there have been rumors in the past that Cisco Systems would buy Finisar, which with CCOP, would make Cisco’s previous component acquisitions pale in comparison in terms of cornering the market. Moreover, the full system supplier has been Finisar’s biggest customer for a long time. There is a school of thought that when Cisco decided to cease having a distinct transport business unit, it was making a statement that optics stopped being an end in itself – it was really a means to an end. While selling optical network gear remains part of its general strategy, its principal purpose is supposedly to tie routers and...

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100G Transceivers Below $3/Gig by 2017?

May, 2016

When giant data center owners started promoting $1 per gigabit transport a while back, the idea seemed ludicrous. Well, at least for optical transceivers, pricing has reached a point in which that goal is actually in the ballpark. The willingness of vendors at the low end to continually drive down prices, such as a 10G SFP selling for no more than $50 at 10 kilometers (as low as $10, so a dollar per gig, to $20 for a multimode version at very short distances), has enabled room at the higher end to significantly reduce expenditures on 100G transceivers to perhaps under $3 per gigabit before the end of this year. In fact, the 100G prices on transceivers have been dropping faster than for those devices at 40G, even before substantial shipments at the higher speed on the client side, as there are fewer competitors in the latter space. Therefore, based on our intelligence...

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All-Optical Switches: Still Illusory?

October, 2016

Over 30 years ago, there began discussions in the industry about the development of an all-optical switch. Some of the comments sound familiar to those of today. In April, 1983, The Economist addressed them: “[Optical] transmission performance is degraded by inefficient switching via electronic devices at either end of a system.” Also, there was the statement that one school of thought favors an “in incremental or hybrid approach.” Although there is not much hype in the market right now about the widespread use of such devices, both major vendors, Huber+Suhner Polatis and Calient Networks, long-time survivors since the big bubble burst at the turn of the century, are expressing a great deal of optimism, particularly relating to at least three of the big four hyperscale data center operators, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, supposedly taking a serious look at their...

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