Posts tagged: Finisar

ECOC show participation

September again, and (to misquote Lord Alfred Tennyson) a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of – ECOC!

This year, ECOC will be in the beautiful University city of Gothenburg, home of the famous Feskekôrka or “Fish Church” (which is actually a fish market) as well as a lovely archipelago right on the city’s doorstep.  I’m looking forward to visiting Gothenburg for the first time and catching up with customers and colleagues as well as sampling some of the fresh seafood that forms the heart of the area’s cuisine.

Online Knowledgebase for WaveShaper and WaveAnalyzer

It’s now a year since the introduction of our updated WaveShaper Series A family of Optical Signal Processors at ECOC 2016 in Düsseldorf.   Improved optical specifications, together with the new web-based interface and RESTful API have confirmed the WaveShaper Family as key enablers for photonic research in a broad range of applications.  Whilst we continue to try and make operation of the WaveShaper (and the companion WaveAnalyzer instruments) as easy and intuitive as possible, from time-to-time questions still pop up.  Users can now check for answers in the newly established Online Knowledgebase at  A direct link to the knowledgebase is also provided in the “Help” menu in the WaveShaper and WaveAnalyzer software.

Information can be found by a simple search and includes code examples as well as ‘”How to” instructions. The content of the knowledgebase is growing quickly and additional topics are added frequently. In case you cannot find an answer to your specific question or problem, you can still contact the Finisar test instrument team at

ON2020 Optical Networking Initiative

Making predictions about the long-term evolution of optical networking is a difficult and dangerous pastime, as new technologies (eg coherent) and architectural developments (eg superchannels) are continually altering the direction and rate of evolution of the network.

The ON2020 Optical Networking Initiative is an effort which is, to quote the ON2020 website, working to define new optical network requirements and specifications, develop general network technology roadmaps and evolution scenarios, and foster an open and sustainable ecosystem for end users, service providers, and equipment and component vendors to collectively address the optical networking demands in the cloud era. ON2020 aims to provide long-term industry visions beyond current product developments that will help to set the longer-term goals and directions for the fiber-optic communications industry.

Finisar is a supporter of this initiative and as part of this process, ON2020 has been surveying the network needs and evolution strategies of leading network operators in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. The results of the survey will give indications, inter alia, on what aggregate capacities might be needed, bandwidths for individual links, the importance of superchannel transceivers and need for “white box” solutions, as well as the further development of ROADM networking.

The results of the ON2020 survey will be shared at a read-out session led by members of the ON2020 steering committee, during the ECOC 2017 conference in Gothenburg, immediately after the opening Plenary session on Monday. For more information, please visit the ON2020 website at

The future of VR/AR?

Whilst we think that Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology is the bees-knees for WSS, there are many other applications of LCoS, with one of the most interesting being the areas of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). To see where this technology is heading, check out these papers from the researchers at Microsoft and Oculus on the future of 3D VR/AR.  Both are quite a way from being products, but provide some interesting pointers as to what we might expect at some time in the future.

OFC 2014: Meet the New Finisar WaveShaper 16000

It’s now over 5 years since we shipped our first WaveShaper (in October 2008, to Professor Arthur Lowery at Monash University, since you’re asking). During these 5 years we’ve been incredibly fortunate to be part of the ecosystem investigating next-generation telecoms networking techniques and have often been blown away by the things people have done with a WaveShaper.

The WaveShaper’s original capability to control both the amplitude and phase of a signal, along with the ability to route different parts of the signal to different output ports (in the case of the WaveShaper 4000) has been extended to the manipulation of polarization states (WaveShaper 2000). The WaveShaper Fourier Processor capability, which has been available now for about 12 months, has also proven extremely popular since it provides the ability to generate interferometric structures such as delay line filters etc. within a WaveShaper 4000 by controlling not only the phase and amplitude, but also adding the ability to share the signal at any wavelength between the 4 output ports of the WaveShaper 4000. The combination of these capabilities have seen the WaveShaper referenced over 250 times in published papers (according to the IEEE Xplore database) and we’re honored to have played a part in supporting peoples’ research successes.

We have recently had a number of requests from customers for a WaveShaper with an even higher port-count for use in system experiments, in particular for the development of Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) test-beds. In response, we’re releasing the new WaveShaper 16000 at OFC next month. As the name would suggest, this is a 1 x 16 WaveShaper which supports all the signal-manipulation capabilities of the existing WaveShaper family, including the Fourier-Processor capability which allows the emulation of high-port count interferometric devices not accessible using conventional optical design technique. Imagine what you could do with, for example, a fully-bandwidth-programmable 1 x 16 AWG demux? Or a 1×16 WSS emulator with arbitrary channel bandwidth and programmable broadcast-and-continue capability?

To see the new WaveShaper 16000 in action, visit the WaveShaper team at the Finisar booth #3645 at OFC 2014 next month in San Francisco.

San Fran-Sydney?

Recent travels took me back to Australia, home to the Sydney Opera House, the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, “The Ashes” (a cricket Test tournament held at least every four years between England and Australia Cricket teams – think the Ryder Cup of Cricket) and of course Finisar Sydney, the home of Finisar’s Wavelength Selective Switch R&D team (whom you may enjoy the pleasure of meeting in the Finisar booth at OFC in San Francisco this March). This is the world’s sixth largest country by land mass, often refered to as the world’s smallest continent or largest island, with national average wealth second only to Switzerland. In spite of a more than 30 hour trek literally to the other side of our globe, coupled with the extreme change in weather from mid-Winter in England to mid-Summer in Australia, all seemed strangely familiar.

Of course this is not too surprising given the English heritage of this still relatively young nation, but the presence of red suited white bearded Santa’s and inflatable snowmen next to ‘snow’ drizzled conifers certainly helped – in particular the 10 giant inflatable santas magically floating on Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour Sydney struck a welcome chord and reminder of the festive season. This trip to Australia included visits to Canberra and a couple of days in Sydney, both firsts for me. As you may expect, Canberra, being the Capital City and centre for the Nation’s Government, is a very well developed, planned and maintained city, the surprise for me being the availability of some of the best and most diverse cuisine I’ve enjoyed for a while. There’s everything here from the familiar pie and chips for us Brits to an explosion of Asian spices in Thai, Malaysian and Indian restaurants. Sydney proved equally impressive on the culinary front, with the addition of a very diverse and edgy nightlife in the downtown area. I had been told by several folks that Sydney ‘is a lot like San Francisco’, but having not inquired much beyond to find out what it is that is similar between the two, I was stunned to find a rolling city built on hills with architecture so akin to that in San Francisco that you could close your eyes (put on a big coat and pretend to be very cold) and imagine yourself in Noe Valley, Russian Hill or The Castro. No words from me could explain just how shockingly similar in look and feel these two cities really are, but I think the term San Fran-Sydney will stay with me for a while…

It’s no secret that the people of Australia are very open and to the point, but what is sometimes lost is that this is also a nation of very social, welcoming and generous people – with England frankly taking the worst possible beating by Australia while I visited (Sidenote – I suspect some of the welcomes were based on the joy of having such an easy target on home soil.). The combination, when applied to the business environment is a very welcome one for me – you are not left guessing if you’ve asked the right question or what the real answer is…you’ll be told directly and politely what you need to know. That same directness is evident in the institutional and national focus on advancement in communications. This is a hot bed of development in optical communications, both the design of the elements required for the next generation of optical networks happening everyday at Finisar’s Sydney office, but also the aggressive initiatives to bring broadband to all homes, offices, schools and institutions in one of the most geographically and meteorologically challenging countries in the world. These efforts in part are driven by a desire to keep Australia on the cutting edge of communications and making sure that all of its citizens have the opportunity for access to our ever shrinking world’s ever growing ‘cloud’ of data, be they in downtown Sydney or Alice Springs.

It’s an exciting time to visit DownUnder in my view and regardless of timing, this is a beautiful, surprising and welcoming destination whether you’re a backpacker or a Smartphone and Tablet junky desperate to remain online – there are many resources here including gold, coal, uranium and no shortage of fibre optic connected data! I look forward to my next visit…

Finisar Named One of Five Most Innovative Tech Companies in America in Forbes Article!

In case you haven’t heard the news…Finisar was ranked the 3rd most innovative technology company in America in a post featured on the Forbes blog that was written by contributor Haydn Shaughnessy. The top five technology companies he listed have been identified as those that scored highest on an objective basis – based on online references – as an innovator and/or prized for its new products. In the article, Haydn (who is currently the senior editor at Innovation Management) had the following to say about Finisar:

“…There’s a deeper vein of innovation running through the companies that supply the infrastructure to the new economy. They’re not so well known but they deserve recognition…[Finisar] maker of optics subsystems for LAN, WAN, MANs is consistently referenced as an innovator.”

We are honored to have had our efforts recognized by Haydn and featured on the Forbes blog. As Haydn explains in the article, he gave these ranking to companies who are consistently referenced online as being innovative, creative or best in class. At Finisar, we are constantly trying to push the envelope and offer our customers the best products possible. So here’s a big thank you for the acknowledgement and support to Haydn, our customers and all of you!

You can read the article in its entirety on the Forbes blog here: “Which Are The Five Most Innovative Tech Companies in America?”

SFP+ Shipment Milestone: 1.5 Million and Counting

Welcome to 2010! I’d like to begin the new year by recognizing an important company milestone: Finisar has shipped more than 1.5 million SFP+ optical transceivers since 2007 – this volume is equivalent to the entire population of Phoenix, Arizona – the fifth largest city in the US. It is not every day that the optics industry can tout such a major milestone and, given the economic issues over the last 18 months, we are excited to have achieved it!

Now, a little history about the SFP+ (enhanced small form factor pluggable) transceiver. Finisar began shipping this new form factor in 2007 as a solution offering a smaller footprint and higher performance capabilities compared to the SFP transceiver design. Today it is used primarily in 8 Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 Gbps Ethernet networking equipment including switches, routers, Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), and Network Interface Cards (NIC cards).

For more than twenty years, we have led the industry in volume production of optical communication components used by some of the world’s largest networking equipment manufacturers and system providers. I believe this is a direct result of our strategic focus on building internal design and manufacturing capabilities which not only supply many of our own components but also provide more tools to innovate and deliver leading-edge products to our customers.

I am excited to begin the new year on such a positive note for Finisar as well as the entire optics industry. I’d like to take a moment to wish all of our Lightspeed readers a wonderful new year. I look forward to blogging with you in 2010!