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2 April 2007


Finisar acquires AZNA and Kodeos after shipping 10 million transceivers/transponders last year

Fiber-optic module and subsystem maker Finisar Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA has agreed to acquire AZNA LLC of Wilmington, MA (for $19.7m) and has also agreed to acquire Kodeos Communications Inc of South Plainfield, NJ (for about $7m, plus up to $2.5m further to certain equity interest holders and up to $1m to current Kodeos employees contingent on the achievement of financial and technical milestones). The Kodeos acquisition is expected to be completed on about 5 April.

Finisar shipped 10 million optical transceivers/transponders from its facility in Malaysia in 2006 (up nearly 30% on 2005). But the acquisitions broaden Finisar's product lines, mainly for telecom applications while adding technologies involving advanced modulation and electronic signal processing for cost-effectively extending the reach and tunability of transceivers and transponders for both telecom and datacom applications.

"We have made great progress during the past year in penetrating the market for 10-40Gb/s transceivers/transponders, but we have not had a product offering which addresses the 10Gb/s 300-pin transponder market for telecom applications, which is expected to approach $300m in 2008,” says chairman, president and CEO Jerry Rawls. “The acquisition of Kodeos can be the catalyst for penetrating this market in a differentiated way."

Founded in 2001, Kodeos has about 19 staff. In the past year, it was first to launch a line of 10Gb/s tunable transponders incorporating optical duobinary (ODB) technology, which enables longer-distance transmission and higher dispersion tolerance while still conforming to the standard 300-pin form factor for telecoms applications. The transponders enable systems architects to overcome challenges including long reach and spans that have high optical dispersion, for signal channel, fixed-dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) and widely tunable C- or L-band DWDM systems, it is claimed.

Also, after acquiring Intersymbol Communications Inc of Champaign, IL in 2006, Kodeos has also developed 10Gb/s signal processing ICs based on the use of Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimator (MLSE) technology that can electronically compensate for fiber transmission impairments and increase the transmission distance and performance of a 300-pin transponder.

Founded in 2002, AZNA manufactures photonic components and subsystems that use patented chirp-managed directly modulated lasers (CMLs) to provide longer-reach optical transmitter solutions at lower cost, better performance and less complexity than those based on externally modulated lasers (or EMLs), it is claimed. AZNA’s technology extends the reach of high-power 10Gb/s directly modulated lasers (DMLs) to 200km and beyond and 2.5Gb/s DMLs to beyond 640km. AZNA's product offering includes 8-channel tunable transmitters, but its core technology is applicable to full C- and L-band tunable transmitter assemblies. AZNA has about 58 staff and was profitable in 2006 on revenues of $6.7m.

“In acquiring AZNA, not only do we broaden our existing product offering at key customers, but by incorporating AZNA’s key technologies across Finisar's existing broad line of products, we believe we will be able to create a competitive advantage in terms of the cost, reach and performance of our products for both telecom and datacom applications,” Rawls reckons.

Regarding Finisar's strong growth in the 10-40Gb/s market for metro and telecom applications, “the acquisitions of Kodeos and AZNA will enable us to develop new products for the telecom/metro market and greatly expand the size of our addressable market,” concludes Rawls.