ADC Teams with MEMSCAP for MEMS-Based Optical Communications Components

ADC Teams with MEMSCAP for MEMS-Based Optical Communications Components

Business Editors & Technology Writers


Three-Year Agreement Paves Way for Joint Development of

Critical MEMS-based Optical Components

ADC (Nasdaq:ADCT; a leading global supplier of fiber optics, network equipment, software and integration services for broadband, multiservice networks, and MEMSCAP Inc., a leading commercial provider of telecommunications MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) components, today announced a strategic co-development and production agreement. The companies will jointly develop family of MEMS-based optical communications components for a number of applications including optical switching.

Optical MEMS components, which provide advanced photonic functions such as switching, filtering and attenuation, can offer greater integration, significant space savings and lower costs for optical communication systems. The alliance will develop and deliver advanced MEMS-based devices to ADC’s optical communication customers as they race to provide businesses and consumers with higher bandwidth and faster transmission speeds for data communications applications.

“The optical components market for optical networking applications is growing this year alone at a 150% growth rate, to $5.0 billion worldwide,” said Jay Liebowitz, director of optical components for telecom research firm Ryan Hankin Kent (RHK). “Sustaining this growth requires innovating, not just with the industry’s traditional technologies, but also with technologies from other industries as well. With optical switching being essential to the evolution to optical networking, RHK regards the adaptation of MEMS technology to optical switching as an innovation of importance for sustaining the growth of the optical components industry.”

MEMS is a rapidly emerging chip technology that produces “micro-machines” and structures the size of a grain of sand. MEMS development combines electrical, electronic, mechanical, optical, material, chemical, and fluids engineering disciplines. They are typically fabricated into a substrate that may also contain electronics needed to interact with the MEMS device. In a research report issued last week, Cahners In-Stat Group cites growing excitement about the role of MEMS in the all-optical network of the future and reports that sales of MEMS switches are predicted to help boost the overall MEMS market from $3 billion in 1999 to $7 billion in 2004.

“As a specialist in telecom MEMS technology, MEMSCAP anticipated the need for MEMS-based optical communications technologies and has pursued optical R&D to supply the needs of the market,” said Jean-Michel Karam, president and CEO, MEMSCAP, Inc. “Through our alliance with ADC, we will be able to provide them with a targeted program of component design, manufacture and quality assurance that will help them meet industry demand for integrated, robust optical communications equipment.”

“MEMS is a key enabling technology that will provide ADC’s customers with the most advanced optical networking solutions devices available today,” said Rick Masloski, vice president and general manager of ADC’s Fiber Division. “MEMSCAP’s expertise and unique capabilities in MEMS device development offer ADC the ability to aggressively compete in the MEMS-based optical equipment market. The fruits of our alliance should help provide ADC with enormous growth prospects in this burgeoning niche of the optical communications market.”

From this alliance, ADC will offer a suite of product offerings including low-port count optical switches, for both existing as well as next-generation optical switching applications; variable optical attenuators, a critical component in next-generation optical amplifiers; and tunable optical filters, a companion technology for applications involving tunable lasers as well as dynamic wavelength monitoring.

Additionally, ADC plans to integrate these solutions with other optical companion products through its recently formed Advanced Photonics Integration Center, which develops customized, integrated and fully-packaged photonics solutions for ADC’s OEM customers. The Integration Center allows ADC to package client-specific photonics solutions, enabling OEM customers to better meet the dynamic needs of the marketplace in a more sophisticated, cost-effective and timely fashion.


MEMSCAP, the telecom MEMS company(TM), is the leading commercial provider of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based communications components and supporting design technologies. MEMSCAP’s solutions include component libraries for optical and wireless telecommunications, related design tools and methodologies, and design services. MEMSCAP customers include Fortune 500 businesses, major research institutes and universities. More information on the company’s products and services can be obtained at

About ADC

ADC is The Broadband Company(TM). ADC’s fiber optics, network equipment, software and integration services make broadband communications a reality worldwide by enabling communications service providers to deliver high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services to consumers and businesses. ADC (Nasdaq:ADCT) has annual sales of over $2.8 billion and employs more than 20,900 people worldwide. ADC’s stock is included in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq-100 Index. Learn more about ADC Telecommunications, Inc. at

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