Molex creates global connectivity with fiber-optic pipes that transmit data the world over. We are the glue that holds networks—and people—together.
The greatest product you’ve never heard of was designed in Bridgewater, New Jersey, in 2005 by a company named Nistica.
The product was the fiber-optic switch. It’s both simple and difficult to describe the impact the fiber-optic switch and its wavelength selective switching (WSS) have had on the world. Simple, because WSS is ubiquitous—it forms much of the infrastructure of today’s internet.
The difficulty stems from the scale of WSS, which is both massive and miniscule.“What you don’t see when you order something on Amazon is the data collected from multiple data warehouses across the globe, nor do you see the way those datasets come together through fiber-optic pipes,” says Ashish Vengsarkar, GM and VP of Molex Wavelength Switching Solutions and Nistica leader. “We are the ones who build and maintain those fiber-optic pipes.”
Ironically, the products created in this spacious technical center are incredibly small. A single optical fiber is the width of a human hair, yet it contains about 100 channels, or wavelengths. Each of those channels can transmit enough data to conduct over 2 million simultaneous FaceTime conversations.
Nistica technology and expertise provides the ability to look inside those fibers and decide which of the 100 or so channels can be used to transmit without any failure from origin to destination—say from New York to San Francisco—and which need to be rerouted—perhaps to Kansas first—in order to drop a few subchannels and continue on without failure.
“In the early 2000s, when fiber-optic switching became necessary, it resembled an old-fashioned telephone switchboard,” Ashish explains. “But today, we have the ability to automate the optical network. We have devices the size of your smartphone that can automatically add or drop channels as the wavelength travels—from any origin to any destination in the world.”
“Our highly innovative team takes extreme pride and great satisfaction in helping our customers drive innovation in areas where optical technology provides them with a competitive advantage.
We have enabled fiber-optic travel not only terrestrially but also under water, creating the first-qualified, highly-reliable, Wavelength Selected Switches deployed along the bottom of the ocean. Our WSS solutions are designed to ensure network optimization and maximize uptime,” says Ashish.
Molex is a part of Koch Industries which is based in Wichita, Kansas, and is one of the largest private companies in America, with estimated annual revenues as high as $100 billion, according to Forbes. Molex has a rich history of bringing together innovation and technology to deliver electronic solutions to customers worldwide.
The Molex acquisition of Nistica is a critical part of its formula for continued success. Nistica’s New Jersey–nurtured capabilities, expertise, and proven technologies combined with Molex’s optical product portfolio, global engineering, and manufacturing platform positions Molex uniquely to deliver complete fiber-optic solutions to customers worldwide.
“We’re proud to be an innovator and part of a global company capable of high-volume production,” Ashish says. “Our spirit of innovation is stronger than ever, and it gives us the ability to anticipate future network needs. We’ll continue to use our heritage of innovation and expertise to develop the technologies of tomorrow—our mandate is to innovate.”