Posts tagged: Lightspeed

Simon Poole Named Top 100 Engineer

Finisar’s very own Dr. Simon Poole was recognized as part of the Top 100 list of Australia’s Most Influential Engineers. In order to be selected, candidates must be an Australian citizen, a foreign national working in Australia, or an Australian working in another country; but most importantly, the engineer has to be influential. What makes being selected so special is that only one engineer is selected in each industry.

The publication reads:

“Dr. Simon Poole has both local and global roles within Finisar. Locally, he works to develop new markets and products for Finisar Australia (which he co-founded and has delivered nearly $500m in exports over the past seven years). Globally, he works across multiple groups in Finisar to assist in product and market development as well as being part of the global mergers and acquisitions team.

Poole said a significant local achievement for him in the past year had been the release of the first products based on a new technology platform developed by Finisar Australia’s Sydney team in conjunction with other Finisar groups in Shanghai and Sweden…read full article here”.
Over the last several years, Simon has worked especially hard as he travelled to over 12 countries to serve as an IEEE distinguished lecturer in the category of entrepreneurship.

These accomplishments go above and beyond the criteria for the Top 100 list of Australia’s Most Influential Engineers. It is no surprise to us that Simon was selected for this honour given his well-respected track record.

Keep up the good work, Simon!

Check out Simon’s insights and opinions on Optical Communications on Finisar’s LightSpeed blog.

Taking to the Fiber

This week’s blog post comes from Lightspeed featured author, Tony Pearson.

While I often write of my travels around the world as I visit partners, customers and friends in the optics industry, I don’t often stop to consider just how much easier it is to travel the globe now than it was 25 years ago when my optics journey began. Of course, the advances in travel and transport over the past 100 years are mind-boggling when you consider changes since the start of the twentieth century.

For example (note: these are my rough estimations, but you get the point), let’s say that public transport in 1908 was 99% foot traffic at approximately 4 mph, or at the cutting edge, the Ford Model T, which began mass production that year, had a top speed of about 40 mph – that provided a phenomenal 10x increase in speed. Today, many of us travel at 500 mph on flights around the world, enjoying a 10x speed increase over that first mass produced car.

Turn your attention now to data traffic.

It was about 30 years ago that Ethernet first found its way into Local Area Networks, seamlessly connecting our computers with an operating speed of 10 Mb/s over copper cable. Today, these data rates in “Computer Rooms” (or Data Centers as we now call them) have increased to 100 Gb/s – a 10,000x increase in speed!

Of course, there have been many contributing factors to this increase in speed, just as the combustion engine, the tire, the paved road and electronic traffic signals have aided the advancement in our global public transport network. In the communications networking world, advancements in Semiconductor IC technology, software and the Ethernet standard itself through Fast Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and most recently 100G Ethernet have helped us get where we are.

The real game changer in the last decade has been the medium used to connect ‘computers’ in these ever faster networks. Just as “taking to the air” led to a major step function in our ability to travel quickly over long distances around the globe, ‘taking to the fiber’ has had a major impact on our ability to transmit data at orders of magnitude higher speeds over global networks. This optical revolution has made it possible to move unfathomable quantities of data over short distances inside the data centers few of us have ever seen with our own eyes, yet whose existence we all depend on every time we send a tweet/text/email, search the web for information, or instantly stream a movie.

Finisar high-performance Active Optical Cables (AOCs) and optical transceivers, running at 10G, 40G and 100G data rates support the fastest HPC/supercomputers and largest data centers in the world. Leaping forward, there are new developments in optical engines (Board Mounted Optical Assemblies or BOA) and ever faster, smaller, lower power pluggable transceivers for 100G including CFP2, CFP4 and QSFP28. As you can plainly see, the race continues to satisfy the ever increasing thirst for more data with even faster processors, servers, software, and the fiber optic network that connects it all together.

Network Tools departs Finisar

In our industry, M&A announcements seem to be the most interesting news of the day. Finisar is certainly no stranger in this arena. We have had 17 acquisitions over the past decade. In some ways, it was the technology acquired through these transactions that has helped us to become the world’s largest supplier of optical communications components.

You may have heard that last week Finisar announced the sale of our Network Tools (NT) business to JDSU. For those of you how know us primarily for our optics products, I’d like to give a brief history of our Network Tools business.

It was started in the early 90’s as an internal development effort to avoid buying expensive test equipment for building 1 Gbps optic modules for Fibre Channel. Later, it went on to become a leader in products like the Xgig, the storage industry’s number one protocol analyzer and data generator platform. During our last fiscal year, Network Tools achieved $44.2M in revenue, but while profitable, contributed less than 10% of our total revenues. This division had a different business model than our optics business with higher gross margins and higher operating expenses but slower growth. As every industry sector generally trends toward consolidation, it was logical for this division to be part of a larger operation.

While this business contributed less than 10% of our total revenues, we are very proud of the accomplishments of the NT team. We wish them much success in their new home.

The ultimate benefit to Finisar is that we remain focused on our core business of delivering the best optical communications products in the industry where our transceiver/transponder business is number one in market share.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.


Welcome to Lightspeed, Finisar’s new blog for the optical communications industry.

My name is Rafik Ward and I’m honored and humbled to serve as the host of this blog. Over time, I will attempt to bring you the inside scoop of what is happening at Finisar. There are always many exciting things going on, many of which may or may not be otherwise communicated as widely to our customers and industry peers. Hopefully this blog will bring some of these exciting conversations, ideas, significant accomplishments and industry milestones to light. For my own sake, since this is a corporate blog, I will try to do this in a way that doesn’t get me fired!

Throughout the course of this blog, I also plan to share little-known details about Finisar’s history with our readers. This is the story of a company founded without any venture capital. A company born from a tiny office in Menlo Park, California that would grow to become the largest optical components vendor in the world.

Finisar's Market Position

Now a little about myself: I have been with Finisar for over 6 exciting years. There has never been a dull moment. I have held a variety of progressive roles, including Product Marketing, Product Management, Director of Marketing and now VP of Marketing. I am excited about technology, but I am even more excited about the customers, markets and products which will make the future a reality.