Infinera Corporation is a Sunnyvale, California-based vertically integrated manufacturer of Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical transmission equipment for the telecommunications service provider market. It offers an end-to-end packet-optical portfolio designed for long-haul, subsea, data center interconnect and metro applications. It is a pioneer in design and manufacture of large scale photonic integrated circuits (PICs).

Infinera Corporation
Russell 2000 Component
Founded2000 as Zepton Networks
FounderDavid Welch 
Key people
Tom Fallon (CEO)
David F. Welch (President).
ProductsNetworking systems and products

The company sells data communications equipment to network operators building the global infrastructure that underpins the Internet. The company’s systems can send large amounts of data on optical fiber cables.


Infinera was founded in 2000 as Zepton Networks by Drew Perkins, Jagdeep Singh and David Welch.

It raised its first round of funding in April 2001.[1] The startup remained in stealth mode until its first products were launched in 2004, although a few early media articles did describe the company's component technology - a photonic integrated circuit in indium phosphide.[2]

Underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Infinera went public on the NASDAQ in 2007, raising $182 million.[3]

David Welch was recognized in 2013 with the JJ Thomson Medal for Electronics, an award from the Institution of Engineering and Technology for his role as a pioneer in the field of optical devices and optical networks, including PICs.[4][5]

On August 14, 2013, DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Networks to Europe, a research and educational network) and Infinera claimed that they had set a Guinness World Records by provisioning 8 Terabit/second of long haul capacity on the GÉANT network in 19 minutes and 1 second using its DTN-X packet optical transport platform from Vancis Amsterdam in the Netherlands to GlobalConnect Hamburg, Germany.[6][7][8]

In August 2015, Infinera acquired Transmode, a supplier of metro packet-optical networking solutions based in Stockholm, Sweden (following an offer made in April 2015).[9] Transmode shareholders receiving a mix of cash and Infinera shares, giving a total equity value for Transmode of about $350 million.[10][11][12]

In July 23, 2018, Coriant has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Infinera.


Infinera has pioneered design and manufacture of large scale photonic integrated circuits (PICs).[13] Over 300 patents have been filed by Infinera in fields including optical transport and virtualization of optical bandwidth.[14][15]

The production efficiency of using monolithic integration with PIC has permitted Infinera to build large super-channel cards with capacity of 500 gigabit/second. In 2015, it announced Facebook had deployed an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network to light the world's longest terrestrial optical network route (3,998 km), capable of delivering up to eight terabits per second of data transmission capacity (equivalent to streaming one million high-def videos simultaneously).[16]

This large throughput may be in excess of actual carrier requirements. Infinera has changed its business model to permit purchase of a 500 Gbit/s. line card by a carrier, but only switch on capacity in 100 Gb/second units of capacity. The company refers to this pricing model as "Cashflow-Efficient Instant Bandwidth" and has trademarked the term. The company's technology road map projects linecards' throughput to scale to 4 terabit and beyond.[17]

Business strategy

The company's business strategy has been based upon introducing of leading edge speeds, initially with 10 Gb/second, and as of 2013, 100 Gb/second and 500 Gb/second based upon Superchannels (or combining channels). These higher speed offerings are referred to as coherent super-channels. These higher level speeds are enabled by the use of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) which combine digital circuitry and photonic circuitry in a hybrid multi-layer (3-D) component.[13]

Real time virtualization of bandwidth represents a relatively new capability in optical transport networks. Previously, engineers would have to physically reconfigure equipment to provide for reallocation of bandwidth to different customers channels or services. Provisioning is exceptionally fast with PIC and virtualization.


As of July 2018, the company has its own fab in Sunnyvale, with component packaging occurring in Allentown, Pennsylvania, plus the former Transmode facility in Stockholm. For many of its products, Infinera designs and manufactures in-house the photonic integrated circuits (PICs), the ASIC chips, and the hardware and software systems, including operating and management systems and software-defined network (SDN) software to extend network virtualization into the optical layer. The company refers to its combined component development, product development and system manufacturing as vertically integrated.


Customers include Tier 1 domestic carriers, Tier 1 international carriers, MSO/cable operators, Internet content providers, incumbent carriers, research/education/government, and wholesale bandwidth providers.

See also


  1. Zepton Has an $86M War Chest, Light Reading, 14 December 2001. Accessed: 12 August 2015.
  2. The Light Brigade appeared in Red Herring in 2002. Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Infinera Corp. IPO raises $182 million, above range, Reuters, 6 June 2007. Accessed: 12 August 2015.
  4. Infinera's Dr. David Welch Receives Prestigious Engineering Award From Institution of Engineering and Technology (Infinera news release), 20 November 2013. Accessed: 12 August 2015.
  5. Infinera Co-founder Receives Engineering Award,, 20 November 2013. Accessed: 12 August 2015
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-01-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Morris, Iain (9 April 2015). "Infinera Makes $350M Offer for Sweden's Transmode". Light Reading. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  10. Transmode Shareholders Accept Infinera Buyout Offer NASDAQ RTT News, 14 August 2015. Retrieved: 24 September 2015.
  11. "Transmode shareholders OK Infinera deal". 14 August 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  12. "Transmode Shareholders Approve Infinera Takeover". Light Reading. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  13. Greene, Kate (January 1, 2007). "World's Fastest Optical Chip". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  14. "Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: Infinera: 340 patents". US Patent Database. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  15. Google patent search on 12 August 2015 revealed 189; Freshpatents search for years 2009-2015, up to 12 August 2015, found 278 results.
  16. Kassner, MIchael (April 15, 2015). "Facebook's data center connection to the terrestrial long-distance record". TechRepublic. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  17. Photonic Integration Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine (Infinera white paper), 2013. Accessed 12 August 2015.
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