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22 October 2007


JDSU invests in Mintera to partner on complete 40Gb/s solution

Broadband and optical communications component maker JDSU of Milpitas, CA, USA has formed a strategic partnership with Mintera Corp of Acton, MA, USA, which makes high-bit-rate optical transport sub-systems, to provide a complete 40Gb/s solution set for optical network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) in the telecoms industry.

The partnership aims to provide products that combine Mintera’s dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) 40Gb/s transmission technology with JDSU’s proven 40Gb/s-capable optical communications products and test and measurement solutions, while making use of JDSU’s manufacturing expertise and supply chain.

Joint development will include a 40Gb/s DWDM transponder module (to be available in first-half 2008) that will be standardized according to 300-pin multi-source agreement (MSA) guidelines. Designed to convert signals from electrical to optical formats and back again as signals are added and dropped in 40Gb/s networks, the non-proprietary MSA format should help to drive a common industry platform and provide users with the maximum flexibility to work with other solutions as they design 40Gb/s systems. 

As the dramatic increase in voice, video and data traffic continues to strain network capacity, NEMs and service providers are turning to 40Gb/s solutions to bolster network backbone requirements, the firms says. Compared to existing 10Gb/s solutions, 40Gb/s allows service providers to expand data transport over a single fiber four-fold, and to future-proof network capabilities with a more efficient and cost-effective approach. 

“There is strong demand for 40Gb/s components, although the market is still in its early commercial phase,” says Daryl Inniss, VP and practice leader of Communications Components at telecom market research firm Ovum RHK.  “A mature supply chain is needed for mass commercialization of 40Gb/s solutions, and collaborations like these can help pave the way for widespread acceptance,” he adds. “Many suppliers offer pieces of a 40Gb/s solution. Through our alliance with Mintera, JDSU will be able to provide a complete 40Gb/s portfolio,” comments JDSU’s president of Optical Communications David Gudmundson. 

Through the Mintera collaboration, JDSU will be positioned to offer the widest range of optical solutions designed for 40Gb/s networks, the firm claims. JDSU optical components also include ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers) and optical amplifiers.

Mintera will also incorporate into the transponder its patent-pending adaptive-differential phase shift keying (ADPSK) technology, which enables optimal transmission of 40Gb/s signals over 50GHz channels in ROADM-enabled optical networks (a configuration commonly used in long-haul and metro networks). ADPSK reduces signal degradation due to interference between channels, and provides ‘spectral efficiency’ that allows wavelengths to be packed more closely together to carry more data over longer distances, allowing service providers to maximize their network capacities.

JDSU invests in $19m funding round for Mintera

Mintera has also raised a $19m Series C round of venture capital financing, co-led by existing investors Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures but joined by JDSU (as well as existing investors including Court Square Ventures, Star Ventures and Portview Communications Partners). This financing brings the total amount raised to more than $73m.

“Internet traffic growth is again accelerating, with the major new drivers being video, mobile, and embedded networking,” says Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor and Mintera director. “Upgrades of core DWDM plumbing are now moving to 40Gb/s in metro and back-bone ultra-long haul. These upgrades are led by Mintera, which is already preparing for 100Gb/s a few years ahead of service provider network requirements,” he claims.

Mintera will use the financing to complete the commercial launch of its new, 300-pin DWDM 40Gb/s Adaptive-DPSK Module, to release new features on its MI 40000XS platform and to develop new solutions at higher bit-rates (100Gb/s) based on its proprietary technology. “We are seeing increased demand now for cost-effective 40Gb/s solutions and are pleased with our investors’ confidence in Mintera’s ability to deliver,” says CEO Terry Unter. Over the past year, the firm won significant new customers, and shipped its new patent-pending modulation format commercially.

See related item:

JDSU demos tunable ‘transmitter-on-a-chip’ PIC technology

JDSU grows 16% year-on-year, despite transitions at optical communications customers hitting last quarter

JDSU doubles power of its 808nm lasers for non-telecom applications

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