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Mellanox purchases silicon photonics developer

Posted: 21 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:interconnect? silicon photonics? optical fibre?

Mellanox Technologies, a supplier of interconnect solutions for servers and storage systems announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase silicon photonics firm Kotura for an estimated cash value of $82 million.

Kotura develops silicon photonics optical interconnect technology for high-speed networking applications. The firm announced in March it inked a foundry deal with an unnamed Japanese company to produce its silicon photonics chips. It employs about 80 people and shipped its first silicon photonics chip in 2006. Since then, sales have grown to about 100,000 units a year made. The foundry deal is expected to expand its production capability significantly.

Kotura hopes to be in production in 2014 with a 4x5 mm module that pumps 100 Gbit/s over one optical fibre. It will consume about 3.5W and, thanks to its use of single-mode fibre, it can theoretically deliver distances of 20m to 2km.

Silicon photonics is expected to play a significant role in the enablement of high-speed networks.

Kotura has more than 120 granted or pending patents in CMOS photonics and packaging design. The firm has made a number of groundbreaking innovations in optical interconnects by integrating multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a silicon chip.

Mellanox said Kotura's technology will enable Mellanox's interconnect products to reach 100Gb/s and beyond bandwidth, and have longer reach optical connectivity at a lower cost, allowing users to further reduce their capital and operating expenses and offer new revenue-generating services.

Mellanox expects to establish its first R&D centre in the U.S. at Kotura's current location in Monterey Park, Calif. Mellanox also said it intends to retain Kotura's existing product lines to ensure continuity for customers and partners. It believes its acquisition of Kotura's technology and the additional development team to better position the company to produce 100Gb/s and faster interconnect solutions with higher-density optical connectivity at a lower cost.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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