Word on the street is that since CLFD stopped representing Miniflex and introduced their own FieldShield pushable fiber product they are crushing Miniflex in the N.A. market. Another great move by CLFD management.
Just an FYI:
Two gigabit FTTH projects were recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission which will be partially funded with CASF monies. These projects will be built out by Race Communications in Kern County California and the total deployment cost for both totals appx. $26mm. A third Race project submitted to CPUC for deployment in Mono County is still pending approval and totals appx. $7mm.
The public summaries of both approved projects state they will be using a total of 28 Calix ODC-1000 FTTP Pedestal Cabinets and Clearfield 864 Panel Pedestal Cabinets (one of the largest CLFD makes) to deploy the fiber in the network. These projects should get underway in 2014.
Not sure A., but this solution looks like it would be something that a Sure-Fire would sell. Something that would not only allow multi connectivity (if HDplay/mobile were inside or used in a connecting device, but also physical connectivity compatibility to any port (the actual connector itself). I guess they could market it as "the ultimate adapter" or connector. I think these guys just keep trying to develop solutions that solve inherent problems and this is one thing they came up with. Its not the type of thing that cures cancer but it could sell in light of what Ali said about wireless carriers wanting simple connectivity solutions and less sku's in their inventory.
No, it doesnt look that way. This is the connector itself complete with pins and a housing with the capability to work by plugging into any port. It may work together with HDplay/HDmobile silicon but this application is for an actual connector/plug.
I noticed Amir and his team in Israel have had a few new patent applications published over the last few months, all focusing on HSI connectivity. One interesting one is a "connector for achieving complete interoperability between different types of data and multimedia interfaces". It looks like this device is aimed at handheld mobile devices and allows universal connectivity of data (USB 2.0/3.0) and multimedia (HDMI/Displayport) interfaces. One connector for all interfaces.
You can read the application (which even singles out Apple's iPhone and iPad out as lacking in connectivity capability) on Google Patents by typing in 20130217274 at the top of the page.
Up until a couple of weeks ago their name was on the exhibitor list and they were assigned a booth across from Sierra Wireless. The other day their name came off the exhibitor list and the booth became available.
OTC Quoting and Trading Halt
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Q4 earnings will be reported tomorrow. According to the Investor Relations section of the Clearfield website, under the sub-category "Past Earnings Releases and SEC Financial Filings", they state the following:
"Clearfield’s Fourth Quarter and Year-End Fiscal 2013 Earnings Report is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 7th before the market opens."
Just to give you a clue as to what type of relationship Clearfield has with Calix, Clearfield is one of the sponsors of the annual Calix User Group Conference going on in Las Vegas this week.
Yes, Clearfield's products compliment Calix products rather than compete with them. I believe Calix sources Clearfield for several products including their outdoor cabinets which are re-branded under the Calix name. Calix also sources Clearfield for patch cords, cassettes etc. for their terminations in their various cabinets and boxes. Adtran has also used Clearfield for its terminations in the past and may also be a current customer. I do not know if the Clearfield/Calix relationship is an exclusive one but I believe the two have a very close relationship.
Clearfield cassettes handle both AE and G-PON architectures elegantly. Clearfield cassettes can be used at different points in the network, either in the C/O or in an outdoor cabinet (or anywhere else) to terminate fiber in either of those two architectures . In fact, Clearfield is the only FM supplier which allows customers to use one standard product to terminate fiber anywhere throughout their entire network.
The amount of $ Clearfield makes from any given deployment depends on many factors. One factor is the number of premises passed and connected with fiber. Another is the amount/type of equipment Clearfield is supplying into the build. The Nevada Governor talked about fiber being available to "tens of thousands" of premises next year in Vegas with this project. On average Clearfield revenues are between $20 and $100 per home passed with fiber and an additional $50-$100 for every home connected with fiber (assuming they are supplying the gear to connect the home). Assuming a minimum of 20K premises are passed next year that would equate to, on average, $1.2mm in Clearfield revenue. If 20% of those premises sign up for fiber service in 2014 and Clearfield is supplying the gear to connect those homes they would see an additional $300K in revenue. These numbers could move up or down depending on the variables I mentioned as well as others. The above is just a general template for generating a ball park figure
Just keep in mind that TXCC's August PDF presentation stated that the first iteration of HDmobile will not be multi protocol which means to me only HDMI/MHL. It sounds like they scaled down the functionality to get the thing out the door faster. This may speed up the time it takes to get to production but, if it is strictly HDMI/MHL, it also would be somewhat of a "me too" solution would cost TXCC a lot of its differentiation. .
It had to kill Ali to let a guy that talented go but with no money and telecom being chopped, unpopular decisions had to be made I suppose. This is another quote from the resume which gives us a glimpse into what TXCC's engineers are/were working on (after running out of cash I would assume this has been shelved but who knows):
"Developed concepts for the “HD Call / HD Cam”, a Connected TV chipset family for OTT Video Streaming and Conferencing, HTML5, H.264, H.265, AAC, AMR-WB+, SILK, SPEEX, Skype, Google Talk, Video Transcoding, DRM, DTCP, Watermarking and DNLA, based on CEVA DSP architecture and TranSwitch’s HDMI / Display Port. As part of the project developed jointly with Skype a unique acoustic solution – “Hera Sound™, providing Microphone Beam Forming and Advanced Acoustic EC (with instantaneous convergence and Stereo Double talk)."
Yesterday Centurylink announced that they will be deploying a 1Gbps fiber service to certain areas of Las Vegas. At a press conference yesterday Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated that Centurylink will invest $200mm in this project which will connect thousands this year and tens of thousands next year. Last month Calix announced that their electronics were chosen by Centurylink for their 1Gbps pilot deployment in Omaha Nebraska.
These announcements are interesting because it shows that Centurylink, who has a tremendously large copper plant and has done little in the way of residential FTTH deployments, is coming under competitive pressure in certain areas to deploy not only fiber but gigabit fiber. Google's 1Gbps thrust as well as gigabit deployments by certain municipalities have caused Centurylink and AT&T to start deploying residential fiber. Its hard to say what Centurylink's longer term FTTH plans are but for now it looks like they are at least willing to deploy fiber to protect their customer base from competitive threats as they arise.
While we don't know officially if CLFD is involved in some way here with Centurylink, we do know CLFD has a tremendous amount of experience with 1Gbps fiber deployments. And long before anyone heard of Google Fiber. We know CLFD's product portfolio is cost optimized to make these networks cheaper to deploy than their competition. We know Centurylink is a customer. We also know Calix is a customer. I would not bet against CLFD being involved in a meaningful way with Centurylink's residential fiber initiatives however localized or wide ranging they may end up being.
Last Wednesday Verizon introduced their new 4G LTE router with voice capability. This one supports data and voice vs. the previous Home Fusion model which only supported data. This router is made by Novatel for Verizon. Verizon's new router currently connects voice calls over their 3G network. No VoLTE yet. Qualcomm makes the main processor for this router which handles the data and 3G calls.
Novatel's own line of 4G LTE routers are remotely upgradeable to VoLTE when those services are offered by the carriers. I contacted Verizon and they said their new router is also remotely upgradeable to VoLTE when its ready (presumably 2014). They said future VoLTE support is a key selling feature. Than I remembered the following which I came across a few months ago:
Last Fall, when eliminating most people in the telecom division, TXCC released their Senior Director of Engineering/Chief Software Architect who was in charge of the development of the 4G LTE product. He posted his resume on line which detailed some of his work on the 4G LTE VoLTE product:
"Worked closely with key wireless chipset vendors such as Altair and Qualcomm and module vendors like Sierra Wireless, Novatel and WNC. Several of the key concepts and software packages were approved for deployment at Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Spent a lot of time in Carrier Mobile Innovation Centers."
So TXCC worked with Novatel and Qualcomm in some capacity (the router OEM and processor vendor for this new router) with their VoLTE product and certain aspects of TXCC's product were approved by Verizon Wireless for their network. I imagine it’s a possibility TXCC is inside in some way but who knows. We more than likely would have heard something by now from Ali to telegraph it if TXCC was inside.
Food for thought
Apparently Epson thinks its pretty good as well. Epson is a pretty big player who uses 3LCD technology and is a main competitor to TI and DLP. The win certainly validates SIMG's wireless technology even if it is limited to the larger home cinema projectors vs. the smaller portables or pico types.
I noticed TXCC posted three new product briefs on their website on 9/22 and 9/23. The new briefs are for the 44151, 44152 and 44155 chips which all now have been updated to include support for mobility displayport as well as HDMI/DP/MHL. The 44151 is a transceiver used for HDTV/monitor apps and the 44152/44155 are receivers used for front projector/pico projector apps.
Its all still available to the public. The August 27th Midwest Ideas Conference presentation is still archived on the Three Part Advisors website. A no fee registration is required. The last couple of TXCC's PDF investor presentations can be found by googling "Transwitch" and going into the advanced search settings and changing "Last Update" to one year and file type to "Adobe Acrobat PDF".
Hitting their stated market share goals would equate to 3-4mm smartphone units annually by 2013 standards. In 2-3 years that would be more as China's smartphone growth is significantly faster than the worldwide growth in general. InFocus seems to be following the Xiaomi game plan who is also using FIH/Foxconn and is a rising star in the Chinese market (they out shipped Apple in China last quarter for the fist time).
Not too surprising InFocus jumped into the smartphone game as growth is projected to be strong over the next few years. I noticed even telco equipment maker Alcatel now has a smartphone out and it comes with a pico projector add on. ABI Research came out with a report the other day that stated the smartphone will become the hub of the consumer computing experience in the next 5 years. They predict 2.1 billion phones/tablets will ship with the ability to connect to external displays by the end of that period.