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JDSU acquires Metconnex portfolio

17 Oct 2006

Deal strengthens JDSU's position with ROADM - reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer - technologies. JDSU also drops all pending litigation against Metconnex.

JDSU, an enabler of broadband and optical innovation, today announced the acquisition of the technology and patent portfolio of Metconnex Canada, a developer of wavelength selective switch modules. However, JDSU did not acquire any of Metconnex's business operations.

JDSU is acquiring Metconnex's intellectual property for $2.5 million. In connection with the acquisition and the liquidation of Metconnex, both parties agreed to dismiss all litigation including that commenced by JDSU against Metconnex for alleged violation of JDSU patent and IP rights.

"We will continue to use our portfolio of patents and proprietary technology to enable broadband and optical innovation," said Matthew Fawcett, general counsel for JDSU. "Our IP stems from the work, inspiration and intelligence of our staff, and we are committed to protecting that."

Wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology is central to JDSU's portfolio of reconfigurable add/drop multiplexers - ROADMs - which are used by telecoms carriers to enable the cost-effective roll-out of "triple-play" (voice/video/data) services. The addition of the Metconnex IP will strengthen JDSU's ROADM position, expanding the comprehensive portfolio of IP-protected ROADM solutions for diverse long- haul and metro architectures.

JDSU claims to offer the "most comprehensive" portfolio of ROADM, with products based on each of three underlying technologies: liquid-crystal based blockers, planar-lightwave-circuit (PLC) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based WSS.

ROADMs are an integral part of the so-called Agile Optical Network (AON), a flexible network architecture that enables service providers to support the bandwidth-hungry applications that are increasingly demanded by customers.

"By the end of fiscal year 2006, JDSU had shipped more than 9,000 ROADMs carrying traffic in both long-haul and metro networks," said Mike Ricci, senior VP of JDSU's optical communications group. "Optical networks are evolving from two-directional ring architectures, to free-form mesh architecture of interconnecting optical circuits dependent upon ROADM- based switching. "

Michael Howard, principal analyst and founder, Infonetics Research, commented, "As the proliferation of triple-play services and rich media content continues to drive bandwidth demand, service providers are future-proofing their networks by deploying meshed DWDM architectures."

"ROADMs provide the flexibility for service providers to cost-effectively deploy and manage their agile optical networks. The benefits provided by a mesh architecture include better economic efficiencies for carriers, reliability, and the flexibility to ramp services to meet growing consumer demand."

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