4 minute read

The European stars in this sector show particular strengths in semiconductors, particularly high-speed opto-electronic and all-optical regeneration components as well as active fibers. These component firms are feeding equipment vendors, allowing them to design the transmission systems of tomorrow.

ADVA Optical Networking
Public company based in Munich, Germany
Chief Strategy Officer: Brian Protiva
What it does: Wave division multiplexing, a low-cost way of boosting transmission capacity of existing fiber facilities
Why it is hot: Big companies are running out of room to store data. ADVA’s products allow flexible ways to deal with data storage, such as monster warehouses renting space

Alcatel Optronics
Public company based in Nozay, France
CEO: Jean-Christophe Giroux
What it does: Makes active and passive optical components
Why it is hot: As one of the few companies that can offer a full range of products, it’s catching up to U.S. rivals in market share and is currently bidding $5 billion to buy rival Lucent Technologies’ optic fiber unit

Private company based in Bath, England
CEO: Alan Lamb
What it does: Makes photonic crystal fibers
Why it is hot: The unconventional structure of BlazePhotonics’ fibers gives them potential to outperform conventional fibers in telecom, sensor and medical applications

HighWave Optical Technologies
Public company based in Lannion, France
CEO: Eric Delevaque
What it does: Makes specialty fibers, passive components and Erbium-doped amplifiers for the deployment of high-speed optical telecommunications infrastructure
Why it is hot: It was ranked as the No. 1 tech ipo in Europe last year by Tornado-Insider.com and in the fourth quarter posted a 1467% increase in revenue over the previous year

Private company based in West Malling, Kent, England
CEO: Chris Lilly
What it does: Makes an optical core switch
Why it is hot: Used in the backbones of big telecom networks, ilotron’s optical switch promises huge reductions in cost and makes it easier for carriers to upgrade without replacing a lot of equipment

Private company based in Yarnton, Oxfordshire,England
CEO: Paul May
What it does: Makes advanced components for switching and all-optical regeneration and wavelength conversion
Why it is hot: The hybrid integration of active and passive components could lead to developments as radical as the revolution in the electronics industry 30 years ago

Public company based in London, England
CEO: Lord Simpson
What it does: Makes hardware and software for communications and information delivery. High-speed optical electronics is a priority as a result of the recent reorganization of the company’s components division
Why it is hot: The company is among those pioneering components for 40 gigabits per second optical networks

Private company based in Kista, Sweden
CEO: Patrik Evaldsson
What it does: Produces fiber-optic Ethernet 10-Gbps (and above) transceivers, which offer better, lower-cost Ethernet at 10 times the current speed
Why it is hot: Its innovations are expected to lead to low-cost, high-speed connections for consumers

Southampton Photonics
Private company based in Southampton, England
Chairman: David Payne
What it does: Produces DFB fiber laser arrays, optical filters and broadband optical amplifiers
Why it is hot: Its pioneering technology enables the transmission of light over huge distances without the added expense of electronics

Teem Photonics
Private company based in Meylan, France
CEO: Antoine Kevorkian
What it does: Produces highly compact components for fiber networks, such as Erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers and splitters
Why it is hot: One of the first companies to recognize the need for amplifier arrays, which generate enormous savings on networking costs within cities

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