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Xilinx acquires optical transport IP developer

Posted: 06 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical transport IPs? FPGAs? packet optical networks? acquisition?

Recent reports reveal that Xilinx Inc. has purchased Belfast-based telecommunications startup Omiino Ltd for an undetermined price. The FPGA vendor follows in the footsteps of AppliedMicro and Altera Corp., who have both acquired companies formerly engaged in the development of optical transport intellectual property and its implementation in FPGAs.

Based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, Omiino was formed in 2007 by engineers from such companies as Amphion Semiconductor, Flextronics and Nortel. In 2008 the company raised a seed funding round of ?1.05 million (about $2.1 million) to be used for the development of FPGAs programmed for use in telecommunications network equipment.

Omiino was one of a number of companies that used FPGAs from suppliers such as Xilinx and Altera, which they then programmed and sold on to do specific functions in telecommunications where ASICs were becoming prohibitively expensive in the volumes required.

Omiino set out to produce framers and packet mappers for packet optical networks in the 10G, 20G, 40G and Ethernet segments. The company employs 16 people including co-founders Gary Hamilton, its CEO, Mark Carson and Andrew Brown, according to an Irish Times report.

"We have worked very hard to develop this exciting technology and then bring it to market. It is good news for Xilinx because they will now be able to use that technology across whole families of products," the Irish Times quoted Hamilton as saying.

AppliedMicro acquired a similar company, Tpack A/S in 2010 for more than $32 million. Xilinx rival Altera acquired optical transport network IP provider Avalon Microelectronics Inc. in December 2010. The terms of that acquisition were not disclosed.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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