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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
19 May, 2021 - 12:03 By Tony Quested

Cambridge technology on the right wavelength for Swiss acquirer

Swiss company HUBER+SUHNER recently acquired ROADMap Systems, a technology start-up based in Cambridge, through an asset deal for which no figures are being released.

ROADMap Systems is developing the next generation of highly integrated wavelength-selective switch technology; it will be integrated into the Polatis business unit within the Communication segment at the HUBER+SUHNER facility located in Cambridge.

Wavelength-selective switch (WSS) devices are used extensively in today’s optical transport networks to allow efficient and transparent routing of optical data traffic. 

However, the limited functionality of current WSS components restrict the scalability of reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) architectures to address future network demands.

ROADMap Systems is developing the next generation of highly integrated WSS, using software-defined two-dimensional holograms to steer individual colours of light between optical fibres. 

This will enable equipment manufacturers and service providers to benefit from new optical architectures that enhance flexibility and resilience, while reducing costs through simplified network operations.

HUBER+SUHNER plans to leverage the extensive patents and know-how of ROADMap Systems in the industrialisation of its products over the next few years to further expand its growing portfolio of optical network automation solutions, anchored by the Polatis all-optical switching platform. 

“We envision this unique and protected technology platform will enable a paradigm-shift in the cost, scalability and energy efficiency of WSS technology,” says Urs Ryffel, CEO at HUBER+SUHNER. “This evolution in technology will accelerate the development of flexible, future-ready optical networks in the telecom and datacom markets.”

Karl Heeks, CEO of ROADMap Systems, added: “We are delighted to be joining the HUBER+SUHNER team and to bring our transformative technology to market jointly.”

ROADMap was spun out from the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge and incorporated in 2013. Heeks joined the company in 2015 and steered it through two funding rounds with investors including Cambridge Enterprise and several Cambridge angels as well as backers from the US and Far East.

This is the second successful exit for Heeks inside a year as last March UltraSoC Technologies, a company he founded with Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier and Dr Andrew Hopkins, was acquired by Siemens.

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