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Acacia Communications Inc   (ACIA)
Other Ticker:  
 
    Sector  Technology    Industry Computer Networks
   Industry Computer Networks
   Sector  Technology
 
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 Market Capitalization (Millions $) -
 Shares Outstanding (Millions) 43
 Employees 354
 Revenues (TTM) (Millions $) 548
 Net Income (TTM) (Millions $) 69
 Cash Flow (TTM) (Millions $) 147
 Capital Exp. (TTM) (Millions $) 13

Acacia Communications Inc

Our mission is to deliver high-speed coherent optical interconnect products that transform communications networks, relied upon by cloud infrastructure operators and content and communication service providers, through improvements in performance and capacity and reductions in associated costs. By converting optical interconnect technology to a silicon-based technology, a process we refer to as the siliconization of optical interconnect, we believe we are leading a disruption that is analogous to the computing industry’s integration of multiple functions into a microprocessor. Our products include a family of low-power coherent digital signal processor application-specific integrated circuits, or DSP ASICs, and silicon photonic integrated circuits, or silicon PICs, which we have integrated into families of optical interconnect modules with transmission speeds ranging from 100 to 400 gigabits per second, or Gbps, for use in long-haul, metro and inter-data center markets. We are also developing our AC1200 module that will enable, across dual wavelengths, transmission capacity of 1.2 terabits per second (1,200 Gbps). Our modules perform a majority of the digital signal processing and optical functions in optical interconnects and offer low power consumption, high density and high speeds at attractive price points. Through the use of standard interfaces, our modules can be easily integrated with customers’ network equipment. The advanced software in our modules enables increased configurability and automation, provides insight into network and connection point characteristics and helps identify network performance problems, all of which increase flexibility and reduce operating costs.

Our modules are rooted in our low-power coherent DSP ASICs and/or silicon PICs, which we have specifically developed for our target markets. Our coherent DSP ASICs and silicon PICs are manufactured using complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS. CMOS is a widely-used and cost-effective semiconductor process technology. Using CMOS to siliconize optical interconnect technology enables us to continue to integrate increasing functionality into our products, benefit from higher yields and reliability associated with CMOS and capitalize on regular improvements in CMOS performance, density and cost. Our use of CMOS also enables us to use outsourced foundry services rather than requiring custom fabrication to manufacture our products. In addition, our use of CMOS and CMOS-compatible processes enables us to take advantage of the technology, manufacturing and integration improvements driven by other computer and communications markets that rely on CMOS.


Our engineering and management teams have extensive experience in optical systems and networking, digital signal processing, large-scale ASIC design and verification, silicon photonic design and integration, system software development, hardware design and high-speed electronics design. This broad expertise in a range of advanced technologies, methodologies and processes enhances our innovation, design and development capabilities, and has enabled us, and we believe will continue to enable us, to develop and introduce state-of-the-art optical interconnect modules, coherent DSP ASICs and silicon PICs. In the course of our product development cycles, we engage with our customers as they design their current and next-generation network equipment in order to gauge current and future market needs.

Growing Demand for Bandwidth and Network Capacity
Global Internet Protocol, or IP, traffic is projected to nearly triple from 3.2 exabytes per day in 2016 to 9.1 exabytes per day in 2021, representing a 24% compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Complete Forecast Highlights, dated June 2017, or the VNI Report. This rapid growth in IP traffic is the result of several factors, including:

Increased data and video consumption. Over the last decade, the proliferation of new technologies, applications, Web 2.0-based services and Internet-connected devices has led to increasing levels of Internet traffic and congestion and the need for greater bandwidth. Video traffic, in particular, is growing rapidly, and placing significant strains on network capacity. The VNI Report estimates that video traffic will represent 82% of all global consumer IP traffic by 2021, reaching 232.7 exabytes per month, up from 78.2 exabytes per month in 2016.

Growth in mobile and 4G/LTE communications. The increasing demand for data- and video-intensive content and applications on mobile devices is driving significant growth in mobile data and video traffic and has led to the

2


proliferation of advanced wireless communication technologies, such as 4G/LTE, which depend on wired networks to function. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016-2021 White Paper, dated February 2017, global mobile data traffic grew 63% in 2016 from the prior year and is expected to increase nearly seven-fold from 2016 to 2021, a 47% CAGR.

Proliferation of cloud services. Enterprises are increasingly adopting cloud services to reduce IT costs and enable more flexible operating models. Consumers are increasingly relying on cloud services to satisfy video, audio and photo storage and sharing needs. Together, these factors are driving increased Internet traffic as cloud services are accessed and used. Global cloud data center traffic is expected to reach 19.5 zettabytes, or ZB, per year by 2021, up from 6.0 ZB per year in 2016, a 27% CAGR, and represent 95% of total data center traffic by 2021, compared to 88% in 2016, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, dated February 2018. The worldwide public cloud services market grew 28.6% year over year in the first half of 2017, with revenues totaling $63.2 billion, according to new results from the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker, November 2017.

Changing traffic patterns. Content service providers and data center operators are increasingly building their own networks of connected data centers to handle the increasing amounts of data generated by today’s modern applications that require more complex processing. The architectures of these connected data centers dramatically increase the amount of data being transmitted within these data center networks. For example, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri require significant processing in the cloud. As a result, the East-West, or E-W, traffic created in response to processing these incoming requests are expected to be greater than the North-South, or N-S, network utilization. As a result, enterprises are moving from an 80/20 mix of N-S/E-W traffic to a 20/80 mix with five times more E-W traffic than that between the servers and the requesting devices, such as desktops, mobile devices and IoT devices, among others, as indicated by Cisco Visual Networking Index, September 2017.

Adoption of the “Internet of Things.” Significant consumer, enterprise and governmental adoption of the “Internet of Things,” which refers to the global network of Internet-connected devices embedded with electronics, software and sensors, is anticipated to strain network capacity further and increase demand for bandwidth.


Optical equipment that interfaces directly with fiber relies on optical interconnect technologies that take digital signals from network equipment, perform signal processing to convert the digital signals to optical signals for transmission over the fiber network, and then perform the reverse functions on the receive side. These technologies also incorporate advanced signal processing that can monitor, manage and reduce errors and signal impairment in the fiber connection between the transmit and receive sides. Advanced optical interconnect technologies can enhance network performance by improving the capabilities and increasing the capacities of optical equipment and routers and switches, while also reducing operating costs.
The key characteristics of advanced optical interconnect technologies that dictate performance and capacity include:

Speed. Speed refers to the rate at which information can be transmitted over an optical channel and is measured in Gbps.

Density. Density refers to the physical footprint of the optical interconnect technology. Density is primarily a function of the size and power consumption of the technology.

Robustness. Robustness refers to the ability of an optical interconnect technology to compensate for the signal impairment that accumulates through the fiber network and prevent and correct errors introduced by the network.

Power Consumption. Power consumption refers to the amount of electricity an optical interconnect technology consumes. Lower power consumption permits improved density and product reliability, and results in lower operating expense for electricity and cooling.

Automation. Automation refers to the ability of an optical interconnect technology to handle network tasks that historically were required to be performed manually, such as activation and channel provisioning.

Manageability. Manageability refers to the ability of an optical interconnect technology to monitor network performance and detect and address network issues easily and efficiently, which helps increase reliability and reduce ongoing maintenance and operational needs.

As they build their network service offerings, cloud and service providers and network equipment manufacturers weigh these characteristics differently based on the particular demands and challenges they face. For example, cloud or service providers operating long-haul networks that transmit large amounts of data between Boston and San Francisco have relatively few connection points in their networks and may be more sensitive to speed and manageability of the optical interconnect and less focused on power consumption. In contrast, metro network operators or cloud or service providers operating inter-city or intra-city networks may face space and power constraints, as well as constantly changing workload needs, and be most focused on density, power consumption and automation.


Improvements in these characteristics can lead to reductions in development costs for network equipment manufacturers, who might otherwise need to develop their own optical interconnect technologies. In addition, improvements in these characteristics can lead to reductions in acquisition and development costs for network equipment manufacturers who incorporate third-party optical interconnect technologies into their equipment, which in turn can reduce capital costs for cloud and service providers. Further, improvements in power consumption, automation and manageability can result in reduced operating costs for cloud and service providers.


Coherent Interconnect Technologies
Traditional techniques for transmitting information via light signals over a fiber optic network used simple “on/off” manipulation, or modulation, of the light signal. These traditional techniques are adequate for transmission speeds up to 10 Gbps, as separate optical equipment can be used to monitor the fiber connection and to compensate for the degradation of the light signals when they travel through the fiber. At transmission speeds in excess of 10 Gbps, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to compensate for the degradation of light signals using traditional techniques. In addition, these traditional techniques require cumbersome and expensive equipment and do not meet network operators’ demands for high-quality signals. In the mid-2000s, advanced modulation techniques enabled by coherent communications techniques and digital signal processing were introduced to increase transmission speeds above 10 Gbps. However, these advanced modulation techniques required significant changes in the underlying optical interconnect technologies and architecture.


Coherent communications is a more complex method of transmitting and receiving information via optical signals. Coherent technologies enable greater utilization of complex formats that manipulate both a signal’s amplitude and its phase to yield a higher data transmission rate with better resilience to signal degradation. Coherent communications enables powerful digital signal processing to counter digitally the effects of signal degradation that were previously managed through an array of discrete components and costly techniques, such as optical dispersion compensation. By taking advantage of coherent communications technologies, some cloud and service providers are able to operate networks at transmission speeds of up to 400 Gbps today and are increasingly adopting technologies that enable 1,000 Gbps and above transmission speeds. These providers require advanced coherent interconnect solutions.


Digital signal processing in coherent interconnect technologies takes place in an application-specific integrated circuit known as a coherent DSP ASIC. Building a coherent DSP ASIC is a multi-disciplinary undertaking requiring advanced knowledge of several complex technologies, such as optical systems, transmission, communications theory, digital signal processing algorithms and mixed signal design, and the development and verification of complex communications ASICs. To complete an interconnect solution, the coherent DSP ASIC must be used in conjunction with a number of photonic functions, such as modulation and transmission/reception. These functions have traditionally been performed by several discrete, bulky, expensive components that must be purchased by a network equipment manufacturer and designed into custom interface circuit boards before deployment. The development of a photonic integrated circuit, or PIC, enables dramatic improvements in size and cost by tightly integrating multiple photonic functions into a small integrated circuit.


Our Solution—The Siliconization of Optical Interconnect Technology
We have developed several families of high-speed coherent interconnect products that reduce the complexity and cost of optical interconnect technology, while simultaneously improving network performance and accelerating the pace of innovation in the optical networking industry. We build these advanced optical interconnect products using silicon, by converting optical interconnect technology to a silicon-based technology, a process we refer to as the siliconization of optical interconnect. The siliconization of optical interconnect allows us to integrate previously disparate optical functions into a single solution, leading to significant improvements in density and cost and allowing us to benefit from ongoing advances in CMOS. Our optical interconnect solution includes sophisticated modules that perform a majority of the digital signal processing and optical functions required to process network traffic at transmission speeds of 100 Gbps and above in long-haul, metro and inter-data center networks. Our modules meet the needs of cloud and service providers for optical interconnect products in a simple, open, high-performance form factor that can be easily integrated in a cost-effective manner with existing network equipment.

Our optical interconnect products are powered by our internally developed and purpose-built coherent DSP ASICs and/or silicon PICs. Our coherent DSP ASICs and silicon PICs are engineered to work together, and each integrates numerous signal processing and optical functions that together deliver a complete, cost-effective high-speed coherent optical interconnect solution in a small footprint that requires low power and provides significant automation and management capabilities. We believe that our highly integrated optical interconnect modules, which are based on our coherent DSP ASIC and silicon PIC, were, at the time of market introduction, the industry’s first interconnect modules to deliver transmission speeds of 100 Gbps and higher. Prior to the introduction of our highly integrated optical interconnect modules, we believe that these transmission speeds were not possible in modules in an industry standard form factor without sacrificing signal quality or other performance characteristics. For example, our CFP- and CFP2-DCO modules, which are based on the industry-standard CFP and CFP2 form factors, enable cloud and service providers to easily upgrade their existing metro and inter-data center networks to 100 Gbps and 200 Gbps using their existing, deployed equipment chassis or newly designed network equipment with CFP slot capabilities. Furthermore, by providing an integrated solution that incorporates digital signal processing and optical functionality required to process and transmit data through a high-speed optical channel, our optical interconnect products reduce the resource requirements of the network equipment manufacturers necessary to build and service equipment with high-speed optical interconnect functionality.
We believe we were the first independent vendor to introduce at commercial scale both a coherent DSP ASIC and a silicon PIC integrated into an optical interconnect module. By designing our silicon PIC in CMOS, which is widely used in the semiconductor industry and generally does not require special packaging, we are able to reduce cost, increase reliability and take advantage of the ongoing improvement of CMOS technology, as well as contract with foundries for the manufacture of many of our products. Our silicon PIC incorporates several key optics functions, including modulation and transmission/reception functions, and supports transmission distances for long-haul, metro and inter-data center applications. We believe that our silicon PIC was the first commercially available PIC to include all of these functions over a broad range of transmission distances. By building both our coherent DSP ASIC and our silicon PIC in CMOS, we can improve the performance and efficiency of the optical interconnect and benefit from engineering synergies.



   Company Address: Three Mill and Main Place Maynard 1754 MA
   Company Phone Number: 938-4896   Stock Exchange / Ticker: NASDAQ ACIA
   


Customers Net Income fell by ACIA's Customers Net Profit Margin fell to

-26.08 %

8.19 %

• Customers Performance • Customers Expend. • Customers Efficiency • List of Customers


   

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