The Download: JDS Uniphase sees strength in diversification

By Steven Overly
Monday, October 25, 2010

JDS Uniphase named a new president for its Germantown-based communications test and measurement business, a segment that the company's chief executive said accounts for about 75 percent of its $1.3 billion annual revenue.

David Heard arrived last week at a time when business has grown as mobile phones proliferate and the government pushes to expand broadband Internet, both of which JDSU tests for quality and reliability.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based company also develops other technology used in such varied applications as gesture recognition, solar energy and 3-D projection. And while the company had a net loss of $61.8 million for the last fiscal year, that was a substantial improvement from the $909.5 million lost the prior year.

The Download sat down with Heard, most recently the chief operating officer at digital video company BigBand Networks, and chief executive Tom Waechter to talk about where the company is headed.

On the company's growth strategy:

Waechter: I think the diversification of JDSU is an important element to our strategy ... and to be in that sweet spot of a lot of the growth drivers, whether it's broadband and supporting that, solar [energy], or gesture recognition.

On gesture recognition technology:

Waechter: In two parts of our business, we provide critical elements to gesture recognition. We see gaming as probably just the entry point to a lot of different applications that you could imagine, whether it's home lighting, interfacing with the computer, security, automotive, defense and space.

On forthcoming mobile trends:

Heard: Services are becoming more personalized as you use content and you use commerce [on mobile devices]. There is a need to ensure it's you and to ensure the timely delivery of that will be important. For us, the technologies that we create test equipment and software for have to accommodate that.


Washingtonians may have seen a peculiar sight on Thursday near the intersection of New York Avenue and 11th Street NW: A spherical building designed to resemble Earth had suddenly given rise.

The display was brought to the city by electronics and electrical engineering company Siemens as part of a national tour to trumpet its smart grid business, said Paul Camuti, president of smart grid applications at Siemens Energy.

The company also unveiled electrical vehicle charging stations as part of its smart grid push.

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