Wednesday, September 7, 2005

JDS Uniphase to Acquire Agility for Tunable Lasers

JDS Uniphase will acquire Agility Communications, a provider of widely tunable laser solutions for optical networks, for an undisclosed sum.

Agility Communications supplies a line of widely tunable lasers that can be integrated with other devices such as Electro-Absorption or Mach-Zehnder modulators and a Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA). Agility's design can also enable tunable 2.5 Gbps SFP and 10 Gbps XFP form factors. The company's tunable transmitter and transponder products are sold to top tier customers, including Siemens, Marconi, Mahi Networks, Tropic Networks, ECI, and many others.

Because widely tunable lasers can cover the entire C-Band, carriers purchasing them only need to forecast their total volume of demand, rather than having to predict the demand for 100 or more individual wavelengths separately.

JDSU said migration to pluggable solutions is expected to enable vendors to enjoy significant reductions in power dissipation, footprint and provisioning costs. The Agility platform also offers switching speeds of less than 10 milliseconds, and is less sensitive to shock and vibration than other solutions, thus enabling deployment of robust, agile optical networks.

"We believe the shift to tunables is inevitable and that the transition will be rapid," said Mike Ricci, vice president of JDS Uniphase's Component and Modules Group. "Agility's single chip monolithic platform is capable of addressing the entire market and is not limited to a single form factor. Agility's proven architecture, coupled with JDS Uniphase's scalable manufacturing capability, paves the way for high volume, tunable, pluggable solutions."

Agility is privately held with approximately 90 employees and headquarters in Santa Barbara, California.Agility Communications was founded in October 1998 by Dr. Larry Coldren, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and co-founder of OCI (now Gore Photonics), and Greg Fish, a researcher specializing in InP photonic circuit design at UC Santa Barbara.

The company raised over $200 million in venture funding from Alliance, Amerindo Investment Advisors, CIENA Corp., Comdisco Ventures, Dell Ventures, General Bank, GM Investment Management Corp., Global Strategic, Granite Global Ventures, London Pacific Assurance Limited, Meritech Capital Partners, Mitsubishi International Corp., Morgenthaler Ventures, Mustang Ventures, Nissho Electronics Corp. (Nissho Iwai American Corp.), Siemens Venture Capital, Tellabs, U.S. Venture Partners, and Worldview Technology Partners.