Broadcom is entering the PON chip market and has secured design wins with a major tier-1 equipment vendor. While this is something predicted here, the timetable was sooner than expected. This will have a substantial impact on FTTH component and equipment suppliers as well as the carrier currently conducting lab trials with the device.
PMC-Sierra reported revenue at the high end of guidance but what caught investors attention was higher than expected revenue guidance for Q208. Of particular interest to readers should be PMC’s comments on FTTH in China and Japan, which we expand upon based on our in-depth knowledge of the area.
Tthere are parts of the NPU market that will do well and others that will not. The edge of the network, with its burgeoning application growth, provides a fertile cradle for the NPU model while the core network is so harsh an environment that even the best managed companies face long odds of generating superior investment returns. Let’s examine why that is.
The ongoing consolidation of DSL chip suppliers should create a positive structural effect on pricing and improve the overall health of the remaining players. Dave Burstein of DSL Prime fame points out that Broadcom (BRCM), Infineon (IFX), Conexant (CNXT), and Ikanos (IKAN) now account for 95% of DSL chipset market share. This is extremely positive.
But nothing approaches the complete and total dominance of Broadcom’s (BRCM) grip on Ethernet switching silicon.
There is an excellent editorial today by Lee Goldberg that explores the lack of new R&D in SONET/SDH and PDH chip sets. While I don’t agree with the conclusion it is a worthy topic of exploration and he highlights something missed by the mainstream tech media.
The networking industry may be about to hit a hidden speed bump as the number of semiconductor companies actively involved with developing products to support SONET/SDH, PDH, and other TDM-based technologies can now be counted on one hand.
Lee thinks this is a big problem. This is not a problem at all. It is the only logical solution to the madness of the past 6 years.
AMCC (AMCC) held a conference call last Friday to review preliminary FQ108 results. The company indicated in April that FQ108 would be $60M down from $70M in the previous quarter (see “AMCC Kicks the Distribution Habit“). The final tally now puts it closer to $50M, a quarter over quarter decline of nearly 30%. This is worthy of detailed examination.
The most under-reported but most significant announcement at OFC2007 was Finisar’s (FNSR) Fiber to the Home (FTTH) product. Most optical vendors are communicating their intent to NOT make a product for FTTH or Passive Optical Networking (PON) applications. When the worlds highest volume optical module supplier decides to go the opposite way, something noteworthy just happened.
The excellent Linley Group discusses Cortina’s recent acquisition of Immenstar, (my coverage here) a maker of FTTH silicon. Cortina is rapidly making itself as a consolidator communication silicon companies and Linley speculates their next target might be a ‘small VDSL vendor’. That vendor would be Centillium (CTLM), though I feel it is a better match for suitors other than Cortina.
I’ve been engaged in constant debate with readers and other investors about my position in Vitesse Semiconductor since disclosing it. Based on reader email, it was one of my more unpopular opinions. I thought it would be appropriate to share my investment thesis from early August with a wider audience.