Opnext, Inc. is a leading designer and manufacturer of subsystems, optical modules, and components that enable high-speed telecommunications and data communications networks globally. Our transceiver modules, which typically utilize our lasers and detectors, convert signals between electrical and optical for transmitting and receiving data over fiber optic networks, a critical function in optical communications equipment. Our subsystems and custom designs, which utilize our transmission and photonics know how, optimize performance for high-speed transport networks. In particular, we are a leader in both the telecommunications and data communications applications for the fast growing market for 10Gbps and 40Gbps subsystems, transceiver modules, and optical components. Our expertise in mixed-signal high frequency transmission, core semiconductor laser and other optical communications technologies has helped us create a broad portfolio of products that address customer demands for higher speeds, optimized long-haul links, wider temperature ranges, smaller sizes, lower power consumption and greater reliability than other products currently available in the market. We view ourselves as a strategic and value-add vendor to our customers and we have well-established relationships with many of the leading telecommunications and data communications network systems vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Inc. and subsidiaries (“Cisco”) and Nokia Siemens Networks (“NSN”).
Telecommunications and data communications networks are becoming increasingly congested as the result of growing demand from consumers, enterprises and institutions for high-bandwidth applications. This bandwidth constraint has caused network service providers to turn to their equipment vendors to provide solutions that maximize bandwidth and reliability while minimizing cost. Increasing the communications data rate in networks is an important element of easing network congestion, and, as a result, network service providers are deploying 10Gbps and 40Gbps equipment more broadly throughout their networks. We have a broad portfolio of industry-defined product types, including tunable and fixed-wavelength subsystems, line cards, and custom modules. Our modules are designed and manufactured as fixed wavelength for client-side applications and as fixed wavelength or long-reach tunable for line-side applications. We focus on the 10Gbps, 40Gbps, and 100Gbps and above markets, which we believe are some of the fastest growing and most important markets in the communications industry.
We were founded in September 2000 as a subsidiary of Hitachi and subsequently spun-out of its fiber optic components business. We draw upon a 30-year history of fundamental laser research, manufacturing excellence, and product development that has helped create several technological innovations such as the creation of 10Gbps and 40Gbps laser technologies. We work closely with Hitachi’s renowned research laboratories to conduct research and commercialize products based on fundamental laser and photodetector technology. We view our relationship with Hitachi as a competitive advantage because this relationship helps us remain a leader in fundamental semiconductor laser research for the communications market. These research efforts have enabled us to develop market leadership in the 10Gbps and 40Gbps transceiver module market and place us in a strong position to develop differentiated products for emerging higher-speed markets, such as the 40GbE and 100Gbps markets.
Since our founding, we have expanded our customer base, won numerous design qualifications, made significant operational improvements and expanded our product lines and our patent portfolio. We have acquired and integrated three businesses and completed our initial public offering and listing of our common shares on the NASDAQ market in February 2007. Our most recent acquisition, StrataLight Communications, Inc. (“StrataLight”), a high-speed transport company, was completed on January 9, 2009, and complements our core high-speed client technologies. Through our direct sales force supported by manufacturer representatives and distributors, we sell products to many of the leading network systems vendors throughout the Americas, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. Our customers include many of the top telecommunications and data communications network systems vendors in the world. We also supply components to several major transceiver module companies and sell into select industrial and commercial applications where we can apply our core laser capabilities, such as mini projectors, medical systems, laser printers and barcode scanners.
Technology and Research and Development
We use our proprietary technology at many levels within our product development, ranging from the basic materials research that created the innovative materials we use in our lasers to the sophisticated component integration and optimization techniques we use to design our modules. We are committed to conducting fundamental research in laser and photonic integration technologies. In addition, we have a proven record of converting this research into commercial products. Our technology is protected by our strong patent portfolio and trade secrets developed in deployments with our extensive customer base. Our leading technologies start with our fundamental laser, modulation and photodetector technology and extend through design and assembly. In particular, the following technologies are central to our business:
Semiconductor Laser Design & Manufacturing. We are a leading designer and manufacturer of lasers for high-speed fiber optic communications such as 10Gbps and 40Gbps. In the development and manufacturing of new lasers, we utilize accumulated knowledge in areas such as semiconductor growth, semiconductor materials systems, quantum well engineering, wavelength design, and high-frequency performance. This knowledge enables performance improvements such as miniaturization, wavelength control, wide temperature, and high-speed operation, and provides us with a time and knowledge advantage over companies that source their 10Gbps and 40Gbps lasers from other companies.