Sunday, September 9, 2007

Matisse Raises $45 Million for Optical Burst Switching

Matisse Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $45 million in Series C funding for its "EtherBurst" optical switching technology, which employs optical burst transponders that switch packet traffic in bursts at different wavelengths.

Merrill Lynch PCG invested $35M in the round, which included all existing investors including Menlo Ventures, Monitor Ventures, Walden International and Woodside Fund. To date, Matisse Networks has raised total financing of $80 million.

The company argues that the worldwide installed base of over 400,000 SONET/SDH optical rings are incapable of meeting the bandwidth demand for packet services created by both the consumer's appetite for high bandwidth applications such as IPTV, and the enterprise's migration to high speed carrier Ethernet services.

Unlike current Ethernet-over-DWDM metro architectures, which rely on pre-provisioned point-to-point optical circuits, Matisse Networks is developing a system that applies the principles of packet switching to the optical layer. Instead of dedicated optical circuits, the goal is a more highly efficient, layer 2 packet-switched photonic layer.

Etherburst relies on Matisse's patented 10 Gbps "Tango" optical burst transponder, which is capable of tuning and locking to any wavelength in the ITU C-band in nanoseconds. Matisse is using off-the-shelf, commercially available tunable lasers along with its own silicon and intellectual property. Burst scheduling, collision avoidance and quality of service (802.1 p and DiffServ) enforcement are provided by Matisse Network's patented "MeshWave" packet processor.

Matisse Networks also announced the following key additions to its team-- Doug Stewart, vice president of sales for North America Europe, Middle East; Shigeru Ota, vice president sales for Asia Pacific; and Gouri Shankar, head of the Matisse Networks design center in Hyderabad, India.

  • Matisse Networks is headed by Sam Mathan (chairman and CEO), who previously was President and CEO of Amber Networks, which was acquired by Nokia for $421 million in July 2001. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Telco Marketing & Sales at Ascend Communications. Matisse was founded by Claude Hamou, who previously was Executive VP and General Manager of Terayon Communications' Data Cable Division.


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