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HUBER+SUHNER acquires optical switch maker Polatis

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On 30 May 2016 HUBER+SUHNER signed the contracts to take over Polatis, a developer of all-optical network switches, for an undisclosed sum.

Polatis’ technology enables huge data streams to be managed speedily, efficiently and securely, which in turn enables improved capacity utilisation in data centres and advanced data management in large telecom networks. Both applications are strategic growth areas of HUBER+SUHNER, the company says.

By enabling the efficient management of ever-increasing data volumes, optical switches are a key building block in the evolution towards software-defined networks. The Polatis product portfolio thus represents a perfect addition to the existing product range of HUBER+SUHNER.

In contrast to conventional electrical/optical switches, pure optical switches like those from Polatis do not convert the signals but control them purely optically and therefore offer much higher performance. Polatis switches have faster switching speeds, outstanding reliability and the industry’s lowest optical loss, the company claims.

Polatis recently launched the 384x384 optical circuit switch, which is the largest available optical circuit switch on the market, according to the company.

Gerald Wesel, CEO of Polatis, commented: ‘After years of development work and successful deployment in a range of different applications, we are now poised for a breakthrough in the data centre market. Thanks to the global presence, the size and excellent reputation of HUBER+SUHNER, we are now able to position our technology more widely in the market. In strategic terms, Polatis and HUBER+SUHNER represent a perfect fit. Joining forces will mean a decisive step forward for all of us.’

Founded in the year 2000, Polatis now has some 110 employees at its sites in Bedford, Massachusetts, in the US, Cambridge in the UK and Krakow in Poland. Product management, research, development, prototyping and low-volume production are all performed in England whilst high-volume production takes place in Poland. The US office concentrates on sales.

HUBER+SUHNER will further invest into Polatis, according to Urs Kaufmann, CEO of HUBER+SUHNER. ‘We expect to see a breakthrough in the data centre market and a positive financial contribution within the next two to three years,’ he said. ‘We are pleased that we can count on the full commitment of the complete Polatis management team as we continue to develop the company.’

Polatis will form a business unit within the Fiber Optics division. The acquisition, which was financed entirely from company funds, is expected to close in June.

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