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Release: July 18 , 2000

World's Fastest Optical Parallel Interconnects Commence Shipment

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President: Masaharu Shibata, Head Office: Nagoya, Japan) has commenced sample shipment of the Optical Parallel Interconnects which NGK and its US joint-venture partner, OPTOBAHN Corporation (President: Dr. Toshikazu Uchida, Head Office: Torrance, CA, U.S.A.) have been developing. This 2.5 Gb/s (gigabits per second) per channel model is the world's fastest and we have already started sample shipments. In response to increased full-scale shipment of 1.25 Gb/s per channel versions, we will accelerate capital investment to expand production capacity.

Optical Parallel Interconnects are interface modules which replace the inter- and intra-connecting electrical cables and wiring of telecommunication equipment and computers with optical fiber. They are capable of massively transmitting digital signals at high-speed. As a key apparatus in the multimedia era, the interconnects apply to relatively short transmission distances such as digital cross-connecting equipment used for digital communication mainline switching stations, ATM switching systems, and high-speed routers. A smaller signal delay allows higher speed, larger volume and longer distance transmission than conventional coaxial cable connections.

mong the products NGK has commercialized in response to the challenging opportunities in information technology are multilayer dielectric filters for mobile communications, optical waveguide devices and optical fiber arrays. In 1994, NGK and OPTOBAHN jointly began development of Optical Parallel Interconnects using our accumulated experience in optofunctional devices and precision optical fiber junction technologies.

Since the market's largest manufacturer of digital cross-connecting equipment decided to adopt our products, we have been mass-producing a 1.25 Gb/s per channel version. Each module with 8 or 12 channels can transmit large volumes of information at speeds of 10 or 15 Gb/s. This is comparable to sending the data stored on about 20 CD-ROMs in one second. NGK has begun prototype shipment of a 2.5 Gb/s per channel version and is developing a mega-speed/mega-volume 3.2 Gb/s version.

With rapidly expanding investment for IT infrastructure in North America and steep increases in global demand, we will accelerate capital investment for larger scale, wider range manufacturing of products such as single-mode, multi-mode and two-way transmission modules. The global market for optical communications equipment is growing rapidly together with a dramatically increasing need for high-speed/large-capacity communications network systems. NGK expects sales volumes of 1 billion yen in 2000 increasing to 8 billion yen in 2003 for this technology.

In addition to our technological progress, NGK has also strengthened its capital tie-up with OPTOBAHN, which had mainly managed product development and technical service operations previously. Sales operations have been added to OPTOBAHN's business and this will aid in providing customers comprehensive marketing and technology services. A sales office was newly opened in New Jersey in addition to OPTOBAHN's headquarters in California. OPTOBAHN is in charge of marketing in North America and Europe, and NGK will oversee Japan and Asia.


Company Outline of OPTOBAHN Corporation

Establishment: February, 1994
President: Dr. Toshikazu Uchida
Capital: US$ 1,155,000.00 (NGK 51%, Dr. Toshikazu Uchida 49%)
Location: Torrance, CA U.S.A.
Number of Employees: 20
Scope of Business: R&D of Optical Parallel Interconnect-related products, research of new technologies and markets, sales and technical services in North America.
A photo of Optical Parallel Interconnects

A photo of Optical Parallel Interconnects

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