Centellax sees market return for telecom components

SANTA ROSA ? It's all coming around again for Centellax Inc.

One of a handful of optical-component makers for high-speed fiber networks to survive the telecom implosion, the company is in expansion mode thanks to new demand for its original products, said co-founder, President and CEO Julio Perdomo.

"We've been profitable for over a year, and our revenues are up 65 percent over last year's," said Dr. Perdomo, who expects similar growth in 2008.

Centellax is leaving its 10,000-square-foot location on Aviation Boulevard near the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and moving to an 18,500-square-foot space in the same business park, with an option of growing into an additional 15,000 square feet.

Centellax makes high-performance test instruments, test accessories and electronic components for high-speed communication and signal integrity applications. Its portfolio has grown from a single component to 35 to 40 products.

By 2008, the company will employ 42, having grown steadily from four employees with minimum layoffs during the downturn.

Centellax ? "centella" means thunderbolt in Spanish ? was founded by three former Agilent Technologies engineers and a Silicon Valley veteran in 2001, the year the first chilly winds of economic slow-down were felt in Telecom Valley.

As the industry went into a downturn, Centellax shifted its focus from components for the telecom optical network to terrestrial and satellite systems components.

The Centellax products? ability to interoperate with wired, optic and wireless systems put them in good standing when flexibility was in order. The company also benefited from a committed group of investors who supported the change of focus.

Centellax won government contracts for its terrestrial microwave applications. Company engineers also developed applications for satellite systems, used extensively by the shipping industry and increasingly in emergency response systems.

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