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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2019

Paving the Way for the Future of Semiconductors: Luxcore

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Established in 2000 and headquartered in Atlanta, Luxcore collaborated with a team of talented research scientists in materials science and with a group of highly experienced telecommunications equipment engineers from Bell Labs, Nortel, and Tellabs to revolutionize semiconductors.

In 2001, Luxcore introduced the Lambda RouterTM – an integrated switching, routing, and transport system based on a fundamentally new type of proprietary semiconductor microprocessor chip technology that switched wavelengths of light or photons without electronic conversions.

Used in almost all electronic devices, semiconductors are materials that are used to conduct electricity. In the digital era, the use of semiconductors is unavoidable. Silicon is the most used semiconductor for discrete devices and integrated circuits as it is the most commonly found compound and an excellent conductor of electricity.

As an alternative to silicon, Luxcore used Indium Phosphide (InP) as their primary semiconductor material of choice. In 2005, Luxcore Founder and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Ramdeen and Empire Capital Management acquired Jedai Broadband Networks, Inc. (now Jedai Networks, Inc.). Headquartered in Red Bank, New Jersey, Jedai is a provider of intelligent Internet Protocol optical access solutions.

Since 2000, Luxcore Networks, Luxcore Optronics, Jedai Broadband Networks, and Jedai Networks has raised in excess of $100M from venture capital and private equity investors including, but not limited to Timberline /Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Metropolis Venture Partners, Empire Capital Management, LV Equity II /Millennium Equity I, OpNet (Gabelli Asset Management), Spencer Trask, Intel Capital, Ciena Corporation, and Deutsche Bank.

In conversation with Mr. Ramdeen the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Luxcore

Q. What is your vision for Luxcore?

With an organizational corporate development and capitalization history spanning nearly two decades, the original vision for Luxcore then and today is still the same. Our purpose is to “Change the Way the World Communicates.” Looking back, our first generation was all about designing, developing and proving the fundamental, underlying core photonic Integrated Circuit (I.C.) or “optical semiconductor” technologies that make “all-optical” networks commercially viable.

This, our second generation, is focused more on the fundamental architectural changes to the global Internet backbone infrastructure and the technology-enabled disruptive business model that needs to be brought to market to fulfill our vision and purpose.

Q. What was your first product, and when did you come up with it?

We introduced our first product to the market, the multi-terabit G1 Lambda RouterTM in spring 2001 at the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) in Anaheim, CA. The Lambda RouterTM was the world’s first “all-optical” wavelength switching, routing, and integrated transport system based on photonic I.C. technologies at its core.

Q. Can you share a few words about your experience behind this innovation?

Here we are in the spring of 2001 winning the show’s top awards, including “Best New Product.” A few months later on May 2001, the dot com and telecom bubbles had clearly burst. Our three Beta Test customers met their demise. One of the world’s largest telecommunications services providers filed for bankruptcy, another filed for bankruptcy reorganization, and our third was acquired. Literally, overnight, our market had disappeared! We developed a product for a big market that didn’t exist at the time. I would say that it was a failure that taught me a lesson of perseverance.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?

During the last two decades, two fundamental shifts occurred in the communications Industry. First, when the dot com and telecom bubbles imploded by Spring 2001, venture capital funding of revolutionary new optical technologies all but disappeared. Many of our predecessors and competitors who were developing exciting optical networking technologies were being acquired or failing. Secondly, the broader public company competitive landscape and market changed significantly. Nortel Networks and Alcatel-Lucent no longer existed. New corporate investment in potentially disruptive new technologies all but disappeared. With these things happening, real technological innovation tends to die.

Over this same time period, we’ve witnessed a substantial increase in the amount of data that travels over the Internet backbone. For example, Cisco Systems had predicted that there would be a 6X increase in data traffic in the Cloud alone from 2012 to 2016 to an annual data traffic volume of 6.6 Zettabytes! That’s equivalent to 7 trillion hours of H.D. video streaming or 2.5 hours of H.D. video streaming for each man, woman and child on Earth each day for an entire year (source: “Cisco Global Cloud Index Forecasts Cloud Traffic to Grow Sixfold by 2016”: News Release, Cisco Systems, October 23, 2012). Today’s Internet backbone was never designed to support this type of explosive growth in data. What happens with the deployment of 5G mobile wireless communications, the coming of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and the demands of big data analytics?

Q. What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

Our commitment to our technology development has been driven by the consumers’ growing dissatisfaction with the reliability and slowing transmission of data which is a result of the unrecognized failures of the current internet capacity, and its’ inability to expand at the same rate of the consumer use demands.

Q. Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

Our technology is driven by the feedback of the past and current consumers and the current pros and cons of automation and automated services. The limits to offer designed technological enhancements to transportation, fiscal services, medical services and information, and many other emerging product designs, has allowed our technology to have a broad target market application, which drives our proof of concept and future beta designs.

Q. Do you have any words of advice to share with your peers?

I want to tell my peers that the key is “perseverance and adaptability.” Have faith, believe in your team, and stay committed to your purpose and vision even in the face of adversity. Be open to the unconventional. The path to success does not come without obstacles and challenges. I had the difficult tasks of trying to find and lead strategic initiatives to keep Luxcore operational during some of the most challenging economic conditions in recent history and prevailing through it was gratifying.

About | CEO

Gerald Ramdeen is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Luxcore, Inc. Mr. Ramdeen has 30 years of experience in Telecom, I.P. Routing, Optical Systems, and A.I., having held positions and worked on high-tech projects at Luxcore’s predecessors, Sapient, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mr. Ramdeen recruited and led the world-class Luxcore team of 120 hardware & software engineers from Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, and Tellabs that developed Luxcore’s first product, the world’s first multi-terabit “all-optical” switching & routing system, the Lambda RouterTM, based on proprietary photonic Integrated Circuit (I.C.) technologies licensed initially from Stanford University.

"Have faith, believe in your team, and stay committed to your purpose and vision even in the face of adversity.”