Aiming to become the global leader in chip-scale photonic solutions by deploying Optical Interposer technology to enable the seamless integration of electronics and photonics for a broad range of vertical market applications

Message: China conferences / Fibertop transcript

Here is more hard work from ITTR that he said I could share. Thanks ITTR as I was just too busy to contribute.

-- rogue


Dr. Jinyu Mo, 2:19: Thank you very much. 


Vivek Rajgarhia, 2:20: Thank you George. 


GT, 2:23: Before we get into the details of the success of these conferences, Vivek, I want to take an excerpt from the press release from your quote: “the companies that attended the live demos now know who POET is and the significant value that we can provide to them. We’re already engaged with a few customers. (There’s) numerous opportunities for increased customer engagement in China, including with some of the largest players.” That’s just an excerpt of the quote, because it was a pretty long one. I encourage everyone to read it. Give us the big picture of just how successful these conferences were in China.  


VR, 3:00: So, George, thank you. I just want to give a little background. I believe our audience and investors have heard of OFC, the Optical Fiber Conference, which is an international conference held in the US every year. So over the last several years, China has emerged as one of the largest optical ecosystems in the world for developing technology, developing module systems, and supplying it worldwide. So, over these years, the conference that started in China—and, of course, Dr. Mo here will give us more of her experience—has grown to be of significant importance, not only in china but worldwide/internationally and to participate in that and to be recognized in that conference is highly meaningful for any company and, especially, POET. So, POET being newer, we are coming out with our products, our optical interposer, and not everyone knew about it in China. Now, with all these leading system, data center, module companies… all attending there, and experiencing and looking at live demonstrations of our products based on our platform, it was significant. I now would say, at least in my experience of working in China’s optical industry for 25 years, I would say this is a very, very turning point for us to be recognized there and I view this as us being over the Chinese wall; we are there and we are recognized.  


GT, 4:48: Well, a lot of that credit goes to you, Dr. Mo. You participated in two leading optoelectronic conferences/exhibitions in China, at which you introduced POET to the China market, where most of the customers are, and demonstrated the company’s technology across a wide range of products. If you can, give everyone a sense at home… describe the two conferences—the first one is the ICCSZ, and the other one’s the CIOE—describe the magnitude of these conferences and who participates and attends these.  


Dr. JM, 5:24: Ok, yeah. So, in mid-September, we have two big events in China: the first one is ICCSZ, so that’s basically a two-day technical forum, and for this year it’s their 20 year anniversary to hold such a technical forum. So, for this year, they have more than 1000 companies and audience attending the conference in different sections. We had over 60 technical talks, all done via invited speakers, and these kinds of people are executives for technical companies in this optical industry: from the carriers—the China field carriers—from the system and tier-1 module makers, and different chip vendors from all over the world. So, one of them is POET. We were very honoured to be invited and give a speech on the main day, as well. The second event that we attended was the CIOE, which this was also their 21st year for holding such an exhibition. So CIOE initially started with an exhibition and also added a lot of technical discussions. It’s mainly industry talks, not like a university research kid of conference. For this year the attendance was over 1000 people and it was well received with all the demos that POET provided for these two events.  


GT, 7:02: What kind of customers… give us a sense of… so that’s a great overview because, clearly, it’s an invitation only event where the biggest, the best, are invited, so what kind of customers, specifically, did you meet with? I’m not asking for all the names, but the type of customers, so investors can understand the profile. 


Dr. JM, 7:24: Yes, so for customers that attended these two forums, they are basically the whole supply chain in the optical industry, from chip makers, to packaging makers, module vendors, and system & carrier, who are the end users for that. So for us, although POET is a chip developer, but because lots of people lack such an integrated technology which they can then integrate into their systems, and even go directly into the carrier systems, so customers that viewed our demo and talked to us basically cover the whole supply chain—there’s different groups of people coming in and from different angles. So some of them would like to partner with us along our product development, some of them want to ask for samples for testing, and some of them want to form a strategic partnership to work together with our projects to get their special projects. So basically there really was a very huge and broad interest from all the customers from the whole supply chain.  


GT, 8:30: How did you guys get that interest? Because at one conference you’re making a presentation, and at the other one you’re making a live demo. So how did those—obviously they went very, very well—how did they differ and which one do you think was more important? I think the live demos must have had a great reaction given what you’ve talked about in the press release.  


Dr. JM, 8:55: Yeah, so the ICCSZ was for the first two days and the CIOE demos followed up on the next three, so in total it was five days. So for the ICCSZ we had a technical presentation and, at the same time, we had our most advanced 400G FR4 interposer demo in a conference room. So I think before all these events, in the Chinese market, not many people knew about POET, but when we did the presentation, and people started hearing that POET has developed such a great technology, which particularly solves a lot of technical headaches currently happening in the industry, so we got a lot of attention. After the presentation they all came to the room to see the live demo. In the conference event we only had one live demo, so after people saw that they were asking a lot of questions and it generated a lot of interest for the next generation. So we told them, actually, for the next three days during the CIOE period, we will have more live demos—six of them—which cover from the current, very hot topic, 100G to 400G and the future co-packaging optics, the kind of future product that people are all working on. So that’s how it came about that a lot of people were interested and got to know and came to the live demos for the subsequent three days.  


VR, 10:25: I’d like to point out one thing maybe Dr. Mo (left out): in the ICCSZ, where we did the live demo, not many companies are given the opportunity to do a live demo, right? That is very special. Maybe you can say a few words how we were privileged to do so? 


GT, 10:48: Yeah, do explain why POET was given the opportunity to do live demos, which… I thought that was just standard, so that’s great.  


Dr. JM, 10:55: No, listen, that’s not the standard. And among so many I’ve attended ICCSZ, this is the first time (I’ve had) the privilege to have a VIP room just to hold our demo. I think it all started this year when the organizer tried to invite speakers for this technical forum, so I told them that POET is very interested and that we also would like to bring our key technology, the latest product to be shown to the audience, which has not commonly happened in the past few years. So I told them that I’m sure, and I have confidence, that when the audience sees our demo they will like it and it will open their eyes that, actually, silicon photonics can be used in this way and delivered to the market, not just stay on paper, or on talks in presentations. So that’s why they agreed and gave this privilege to us and we were very honoured about it. 


VR, 11:55: This is for the ICCSZ, which is really a technical paper conference. CIOE, of course, others exhibit, but we given the opportunity (at ICCSZ), and as Dr. Mo said, for probably the first time ever, at least that I know of and you know of. 


GT, 12:12: Vivek, Dr. Mo kind of mentioned it, and you too also alluded to it in the press release where you said the companies that attended the live demos now know who POET is. It’s clear that you guys went in… I don’t want to say a bit of an unknown entity… but low profile, and came out, is it fair to say, with a significantly higher profile. Because you also got a customer commitment we want talk about. But before we talk about that, is it fair to say you’ve significantly increased the profile of POET within the Chinese market and especially the attendees these conferences attract? 


VR, 12:49: Yeah, absolutely. You know, of course we’ve been talking to customers, we’ve been reaching out and describing our technology platform and products over the last few years, there’s no question about that. But, there’s a limited reach you can have there, you know, you can’t get everywhere. This time, it was a waterfall, almost. You can say we’ve made everyone in China… even though there may be some people who did not attend, but the word gets out because all the key people in the optical industry and end users, as Dr. Mo said, attended and viewed and talked about what our technology platform is and what the products can come out. 


GT, 13:37: What does it mean to you that Shenzhen Fibertop Technology committed to incorporate POET’s optical engines into its line of optical modules as soon as production of the optical engines are available? What does that mean to the company to get a customer commitment already? 


VR, 14:02: I’ll let Dr. Mo say more, but a few words here: it’s immense. To have any customer… of course we’ve been working with other customers already, names we can’t disclose, but this one we are able to… the fact that a customer is able to, and sees that they can use our product, it’s significant. It’s immense because it proliferates very quickly. Even though, ok let’s say this isn’t a tier-1 module customer, but as a module customer that’s able to and committed to using our optical engines, then there is a clear proliferation here. I think it’s immense. Dr. Mo. Do you want to say… 


Dr. JM, 14:45: I think the normal way that customers take our chip is that they wait until we have a sample, tested up, and after qualification, then they are there to use it. But for this particular customer, Fibertop, they kind of can’t wait: they like our technology and they would like to develop their module along with us, meaning that even though we are not yet finished our qualification, they will start their module design and do the module qualification together with us. This will enable them to shorten the whole development cycle and they will be able to launch their product to the market much quicker than the normal way. And actually, after these two events, there were many customers who didn’t really attend the conference or attend the show, they approached me asking for time slots for more technical discussion. They want to engage further and, kind of similar to Fibertop, they wanted to have a more strategic partnership. So the interest not only held at the two events, actually we received a lot of requests after the events as well.  


GT, 15:54: Dr. Mo, is it fair to say that the level of interest POET received, you received, even surpassed your expectations, or were you expecting this level of success because you knew once the market saw your technology it would be very widely accepted, very well accepted, well received? 


Dr. JM, 16:15: I expected after this event we would receive a lot of requests, but it’s also a surprise to me that there was also a lot of tier-1 module makers that they actually approached us by themselves. 


GT, 16:25: Wow. 


DR. JM, 16:29: Because, initially, they are so big, and so famous, I think it will be difficult to get their engagement but, surprisingly, they approached us after the event and they are kind of quite aggressive that they want to go to the next step.  


GT, 16:43: So, Vivek, it sounds like Dr. Mo’s given you a pretty good pipeline coming out of this, with some, it sounds like, some pretty significant players. I know you can’t talk about them specifically but, other than, Fibertop, where we talked… how are you going to follow up here? What does the follow-up process look like for the investors, so they know what the outreach is like, what timelines would be like, would you go back and do live demos again, what does the whole cycle look like? 


VR, 17:17: One is: we have now a flood of requests, companies want to talk to us and all, of course we have to be smart about it. We want to make sure we don’t take on everything from everyone, obviously. So we will be… and being in the industry, you know Dr. Mo’s been in the industry a long time, and so have I… I actually did spend two months in China. I returned a few weeks ago, unfortunately. I could not stay for the CIOE, which was delayed by two weeks, because of visa reasons [there’s a rumour he maxed out his corporate credit card]. We have to be smart. We have to be sure we are engaging with the right companies and the right priorities and orders and Dr. Mo and all of us are going to be extremely busy, which is a good thing as we are rolling out our samples, getting the samples in customers’ hands. And having Super Photonics, our joint venture, the significance of that, again, comes out because of with the resources and the capability, within the China market, to make these engines is very important and we can have very close interactions with many of these customers. 


GT, 18:32: Dr. Mo, you kind of touched on it earlier, that the level of interest spanned from custom development to just using using POET’s standard products. Is that a 50/50 split? Is it more one way than the other? What does the interest in the products look like? 


Dr. JM, 18:52: Uh, for example, like Tier-1 module makers, they’re not only interested with our standard products, they also want to discuss with us for the next generation, so that will be more strategic kind of partnership. So, after the show, the next step to move on is we need to start shipping samples to customers, which is what everyone is asking for right now. And the whole POET team, from different sites, we are all working very hard to deliver these to customers to be shown in the very near future. 


GT, 19:26: Last question for you Dr. Mo: Would you say the conference surpassed… how happy are you with how everything developed from the conference from preparing before, to the demonstrations, to the reaction from the audience and customers… how happy are you with how it all has come together? 


Dr. JM, 19:51: To be honest, initially, I was thinking that after the two events I could have a bit of rest, but after receiving all the requests and interest from different customers we are now busier than ever before preparing for the demos, so the whole team’s actually trying to really ship up samples to customers, just to tell people that seeing is better than talking about, and receiving samples into the customers’ hands is better than seeing demos in our lab and in the conference room.  


GT, 20:25: Vivek, last word to you. How happy is corporate with how well the two conferences went for POET and what it means it terms of keeping you guys busy for the next3-6 months? 


VR, 20:41: So I would say Dr. Mo: well said on your comment here. I had to come back. I was planning to stay there for the conference. I had to come back. I was a little bit nervous, but I knew I was leaving it in the hands of Dr. Mo—in good hands there. But it definitely surpassed my expectations. I would say from POET, as a whole, we are very grateful to Dr. Mo and the Super Photonics team, and very impressed by the accomplishment they’ve made in this demo. Successfully doing a live demonstration of six products, in an early product company, is significant. Even major companies that have been in the industry for decades are not able to pull off six live demos. I don’t know if our audience can appreciate that, but to me this is just phenomenal.  


And they briefly discuss that the live demo videos will be made available to the public somehow… 


And then closing remarks.


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