Cisco announced that it has acquired Qeyton Systems of Stockholm, Sweden. Qeyton is Cisco's second optical networking acquisition in Europe and its 11th acquisition this year. Qeyton develops the Metropolitan Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (MDWDM) technology, which uses multiple colors of light to increase the maximum load over fibre networks. MDWDM is a product for independent service providers and other carriers, especially those operating in metropolitan areas. According to Cisco, this acquisition is another step on its path toward providing a "comprehensive end-to-end optical networking solution for service providers' metropolitan networks." MDWDM lets carriers increase their capacity for data, voice, and video traffic over fibre lines without having to lay or acquire new lines. Qeyton claims that its modular architecture and high-transmission efficiency allow high levels of data traffic while reducing the need for amplifiers, an approach that will create more reliable, cheaper data networks for ISPs. According to company representatives, "The modular architecture of the QS-200 allows channels to be easily installed, added, or upgraded on a wavelength-by-wavelength basis wherever and whenever traffic growth occurs." The Qeyton acquisition will cost Cisco about $800 million, which Cisco will convey in a common stock exchange. Cisco plans to finalize the deal in the first quarter of 2001. Qeyton CEO Claes Rickeby will remain in place as leader of the new Cisco division (in the company's Photonics Business Unit). Last year, Cisco announced plans to acquire 20 to 25 companies this year. Other purchases have included January's acquisition of two VPN companies, Altiga Networks and Compatible Systems, for a combined price of about $567 million. In March, Cisco acquired large-bandwidth network-creation specialist, SightPath, for $800 million and Scottish company Atlantech, a maker of software tools for managing and configuring network hardware, for about $180 million. Also in March, Cisco acquired JetCell, a wireless technology vendor, for $200 million, and InfoGear Technology, which makes a software tool for managing network appliances, for $300 million.