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.
After dropping hints in an earlier conference call (see Vitesse Q207 Conference Call Notes) Vitesse announced the sale of a portion of their storage products to Maxim (MXIM). The $63M transaction has a provision for an additional $12M if certain milestones are hit. The company will use the proceeds from Maxim and $30M in new convertible debt to repay the junk debt to Tennenbaum Capital. (see Tennenbaum and Vitesse).
Three months ago I expected the sale of the entire storage unit to fetch 3.5x revenue. Subsequent research and discussions led me to believe this estimate was inaccurate, something reflected in comments I made (see here).
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.
Finisar (FNSR) reported revenue Monday evening of $107.5M. No written transcript of the call is available, though a replay is and the company overview was updated. I thought there were three notable announcements.
OK, since I’ve been called out by Om Malik, I’m going to let rip with a stream-of-conciousness monologue on optical. No backspace key, no delete key, spelling corrections ex-post-facto. Here goes.
This is yet another example of technology research not keeping accurate score by focusing on the more traditional equipment vendors (Nortel, Alcatel, Lucent, Siemens, Fujitsu) and not counting the emerging Chinese vendors, particularly Huawei and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE both make wavelength switches and ship them in large amounts. Vitesse and Mindspeed supply the components at the heart of these switches and it is the Chinese vendors (and Nortel) who consume the most. Infinera’s not at the top of their list as a commercial partner though Mindspeed considers them a strong technical partner.
We don’t have a copy of the Del’Oro report, but it is an impossibility that ZTE and Huawei are not included in the top 5 vendors. We continue to see a lack of proper accounting for these vendors in carrier optical equipment and think the Nortels and Lucents of the world are radically underestimating the impact these companies will have at their core ILEC accounts. Just ask Marconi (uh… Ericsson) about Huawei and their experience bidding for the 21CN contract at BT.
Infinera is staffed by some very sharp ex-Lightera people, including a few of my ex-colleagues from Vitesse. They are certainly a company worth watching, particularly in an area that Om Malik fails to recognize- long reach, DWDM PON (warning, .pdf link), other than a throwaway reference to IPTV.