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22 September 2006


Bookham sells UK assembly and test plant for $9.5m

InP-based optical component, module and subsystem maker Bookham Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has agreed to sell its assembly and test facility in Paignton, UK to an undis- closed buyer for £5m ($9.5m). The transaction is expected to close in mid-November.

Bookham has been transferring test and assembly from Paignton to its plant in Shenzhen, China as part of ongoing cost-cutting measures. However, the deal includes a two-year option to lease back part of the site from the new owner. In March, Bookham also agreed a deal worth $24m with UK property investment company Scarborough Developments to sell and lease back its chip fabrication plant in Caswell, UK.

“With this latest transaction we will have raised approximately $41m from the recent private placement of common stock and the sale of our Paignton facility,” said Dr Giorgio Anania, president and CEO. “We now have a much stronger balance sheet, which we plan to leverage to better address our growing markets.”

. . . introduces new products at ECOC

Next week’s ECOC (European Conference on Optical Communication) will see Bookham introduce several new products.

Bookham’s integrable tunable laser assembly (iTLA) is now fully qualified, and in volume production at the company’s Shenzhen, China manufacturing facility. The company says the DS-DBR technology forms the building block for two new products, both of which the company believe to be the first of their kind.

Bookham’s wideband tunable transmitter assembly module (TTA) is for long haul and regional metro applications and co-packages the LambdaFLEX wideband tunable laser with an InP Mach-Zehnder (MZ) modulator to provide transmitter functionality in a small, iTLA-sized footprint package. Bookham is driving the TTA through the OIF to set what it claims to be a new market standard for tunable technology. The tunable DS-DBR and InP MZ technology are also incorporated into a small form factor (SFF) 300pin Wideband Tunable Transponder.

“Tunability is vital in providing the flexibility and scalability needed to ensure that networks can cope with increasing demand, both today and in the future,” said Adam Price, director, Product Line Management at Bookham. “Bookham pioneered tunable technology with its monolithic DS-DBR laser and is now continuing that tradition of innovation with the iTLA and the next generation of tunable technology. To make tunability a viable, cost-effective option for vendors, Bookham has invested in its proven high volume manu- facturing capability, particularly at the company’s Shenzhen site.”

The current LamdaFLEX iTLA is a continuous wave (CW) tunable laser source for use in the C-band window from 1528m to 1563nm. Based on the OIF MSA outline, the laser and control electronics are pre-mounted on a dedicated circuit board; the product also provides low line width, internal SBS dither generation, direct input path for trace tone functionality and field programmable firmware.

The LambdaFLEX portfolio is based on Bookham’s fully qualified tunable laser chip. The core tunable technology is built on a monolithic structure with no moving parts, enabling very fast tuning times and excellent reliability, comparable to that offered by legacy DFB lasers, says the company.

ECOC will also see the first demonstration of Bookham’s DWDM SFP transceiver to transmit at 2.5 Gbit/s and 4.25 Gbit/s. The company says the product will provide equip- ment vendors with the ability to support SONET/SDH, Ethernet and Fiber Channel with one product.

The transceiver is designed to perform in amplified low OSNR links. It enables an uncompensated link length of up to 180km for STM-16/OC-48/OTN-1 and provides 80km reach at 4G fiber channel rates. It adheres to the world- wide DWDM SFP MSA standard and is RoHS compliant.

“We believe that we are one of only a few suppliers able to achieve 2.5 Gbit/s and 4.25Gbit/s with a single DWDM SFP transceiver,” said Paul Morris, director of European Sales at Bookham. “With the advent of converged, next-generation networks, equipment vendors need to provide a solution that meets a range of voice and data needs. This DWDM SFP transceiver is a single part solution for transmitting SONET/SDH, Ethernet and Fiber Channel over DWDM. It is scalable and flexible, simplifying logistics and inventory costs, while enabling network operators to increase capacity in the metro.”

Bookham will show a range of products at ECOC, stand 189.

Visit: http://www.bookham.com