Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kaiam expands UK manufacturing capacity via acquisition of facilities from CP

Kaiam, a privately-held developer of hybrid photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology, announced the completion of its acquisition of the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics (CP) in Newton Aycliffe, Durham in the UK as part of a transaction that also includes investment by CP into Kaiam to further develop the facility.

The Newton Aycliffe facility will enable Kaiam to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity for silica-on-silicon planar lightwave circuits (PLCs) and 40 and 100 Gbit/s transceivers, and adds both electronic and optoelectronic compound semiconductor devices to the product line. The acquisition also includes tooling and an experienced team that complements and expands Kaiam's existing Livingston, Scotland factory.

Kaiam noted that the new facility will enable it to produce InP photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that will form the basis for advanced transceivers in the future. The transaction continues Kaiam's strategy of achieving vertical integration, building on its acquisition of Gemfire's PLC fab in 2013.

The Newton Aycliffe facility encompasses 300,000 sq feet and includes a fully operational wafer fab with 100,000 sq feet. of cleanroom space for processing, packaging, and testing of III-V devices. The factory is currently shipping GaAs devices and circuits, with the capability to produce InP optoelectronics. Kaiam noted that the facility was originally built as a silicon fab for DRAMs before being converted to III-V materials and currently has 3 and 6 inch lines.
Kaiam announced in March that it planned to acquire the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics (CP) in Newton Aycliffe. Kaiam acquired Gemfire, its strategic PLC supplier, in 2013 and currently operates an 8 inch silica-on-silicon line for the fabrication of integrated optical components in Gemfire's Livingston facility in Scotland. It also operates 40 and 100 Gbit/s optical packaging lines at the facility, and noted at the time that these were nearing capacity.

Compound Photonics (CP) is a privately held photonics company with a focus on liquid crystal on silicon display devices and laser technologies for a range of applications in the projection and near to eye display markets.


Commenting on the acquisition, Bardia Pezeshki, Kaiam CEO, said, "… future transceivers that run at higher speed and use complex modulation formats will require integrated photonic elements that are highly differentiated and will not be readily available in the market… this new facility will give Kaiam this essential PIC capability, positioning it to meet customers' needs for improving speed, cost, power, density and manufacturing scale".


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