Infinera PICs Surpass 100 Million Hours Operation Failure-Free
Infinera’s (NASDAQ: INFN) photonic integrated circuits (PICs) have surpassed a cumulative total of 100 million hours of operation in live networks worldwide without any PIC failures, evidence of the high reliability of Infinera’s photonic integration technology. In addition, Infinera has now shipped more than 10,000 dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) line cards, representing more than one Petabit/second of network capacity.
Infinera’s PICs integrate 60 devices including lasers, modulators, photoreceivers and DWDM multiplexers onto a pair of monolithic chips with a total capacity per chip of 100 Gigabits/second (Gb/s). The high level of integration enables Infinera optical systems to deliver significant advantages in terms of scalability, cost, space consumption, power consumption, and reliability. Infinera has achieved high reliability in its PICs by an early and sustained focus on design for manufacturability and carrier-grade reliability — designing PICs that deliver significant network benefits while at the same time show high quality and cost-effectiveness in volume manufacture. Infinera’s PICs are manufactured and extensively tested at its own fab in Sunnyvale, California. Test results show that the Infinera transmit PIC, with 50 optical devices, has equivalent reliability to that of many single active optical components deployed in networks today. At the network level, Infinera PICs deliver significant improvements in network reliability and ease of use by eliminating more than 90% of the fiber couplings in a traditional optical network. Fiber couplings and associated complex fiber management are a major source of issues and outages in optical networks.
Photonic Learning Curve
Infinera’s highly reliable manufacturing process has also helped the company achieve a dramatic improvement in manufacturing efficiency from its wafer fab. Efficiency has increased 60-fold since Infinera began volume manufacture in 2004.
“The increase in efficiency is very significant because it shows that photonic integrated circuits advance similarly to electronic integrated circuits, where silicon chips have been able to deliver very high quality while increasing complexity and functionality year after year, due to the learning curve in the manufacturing process,” commented Infinera Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Dave Welch. “Just as there is a silicon learning curve, we are discovering there is a photonic learning curve.”
Earlier this year, Infinera unveiled plans for its next commercially produced PICs with a data rate of 400/500 Gb/s. These PICs are expected to have more than 200 integrated optical devices on a single chip. Infinera foresees that further technical progress will enable continued scaling in the capacity of photonic integrated circuits, enabling a doubling of capacity per chip every three years.
Line Card Milestone
Infinera also passed a significant milestone in DWDM line cards shipped, with more than 10,000 Infinera DLM line cards shipped since the company began commercial shipments in late 2004. This equates to 100,000 DWDM wavelength ports operating at 10Gb/s of capacity, or a total DWDM network capacity of 1Petabit per second. According to independent analyst firm Dell’Oro Group, Infinera ranked first in unit shipments of 10 Gb/s long-haul DWDM wavelengths with a 44% share of wavelengths shipped worldwide in Q2 2008.
“Infinera’s growth has been one of the fastest ramps in the history of the optical networking industry,” commented Infinera CEO Jagdeep Singh. Mr. Singh added that vertical integration is a key competitive advantage for Infinera. “Photonic integration is such an important technology that we expect other companies to enter this market eventually, with solutions based on large-scale photonic integration. However, most of our competitors do not have a components business in-house, and that makes it hard for them to develop their own photonic integration solutions.”
Interest in photonic integration continues to rise throughout the optical networking industry. On Sunday, Sept. 21st at ECOC 2008, Europe’s largest trade show devoted to optical components, Dr. Welch will speak on the network-level benefits of photonic integration technology in a panel titled “All-Optical versus OEO Networks.” On Thursday, Sept. 25th, Infinera’s Brent Little will deliver a paper on the use of micro-ring resonators as tunable optical filters. On October 7th-8th, the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) will sponsor a conference titled “Photonic Integration: The Path to the Optical Future.” Speakers at this conference will represent leading telecom systems and component companies, computer companies including IBM and Sun Microsystems, leading academics, as well as Infinera executives. On October 5th, optical industry analyst Sterling Perrin will host a panel discussion at the Optical Expo conference titled “Photonic Integration: Redefining Optical Cost, Scale & Performance.”
Analyst Perrin published a report in March, “Photonic Integration and the Future of Optical Networking,” which singled out Infinera as having a four-year lead in the technology.
“Photonic integration is the industry’s best hope for reducing the cost per bit in optical networks, and Infinera continues to lead the industry in commercial optoelectronic PICs,” commented Sterling Perrin. “Heavy Reading believes operators will increasingly look to photonic integration as a way to build scalable, reliable, and cost-effective networks, and this reliability milestone helps make the case for the long-term commercial viability of the PIC.”
Infinera provides Digital Optical Networking systems to telecommunications carriers worldwide. Infinera’s systems are unique in their use of a breakthrough semiconductor technology: the photonic integrated circuit (PIC). Infinera’s systems and PIC technology are designed to provide customers with simpler and more flexible engineering and operations, faster time-to-service, and the ability to rapidly deliver differentiated services without reengineering their optical infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.infinera.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to Infinera as of the date hereof; and actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Infinera’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future such the benefits and capabilities or our products and the Digital Optical Networks architecture, including that the high level of integration enables Infinera optical systems to deliver significant advantages in terms of scalability, cost, space consumption, power consumption, and reliability; that Infinera has achieved high reliability in its PICs by its early and sustained focus on design for manufacturability and carrier-grade reliability; that PICs deliver significant improvements in network reliability and ease of use; that fiber couplings are a major source of issues and outages in optical networks; that the manufacturing process has also helped the achieve a dramatic improvement in efficiency, which has increased 60-fold since Infinera began volume manufacture in 2004; that further technical progress will enable continued scaling in the capacity of photonic integrated circuits, enabling a doubling of capacity per chip every three years; that Infinera’s growth has been one of the fastest ramps in the history of the optical networking industry; that vertical integration is a key competitive advantage; that we expect other companies to enter this market; that most competitors do not have a components business in-house, which makes it hard for them to develop their own photonic integration solutions and other statements that can be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipated,”"believed,”"could,”"estimate,”"expect,”"intend,”"may,”"should,”"will,” and “would” or similar words. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include aggressive business tactics by our competitors, our dependence on a single product, our ability to protect our intellectual property, claims by others that we infringe their intellectual property, our manufacturing process is very complex, product performance problems we may encounter, our dependence on sole or limited source suppliers, our ability to respond to rapid technological changes, our ability to maintain effective internal controls, the ability of our contract manufacturers to perform as we expect, general political, economic and market conditions and events, including war, conflict or acts of terrorism; and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our public announcements, reports to stockholders and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date hereof and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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