Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cisco to Acquire Lightwire for Optical Interconnect

Cisco will acquire Lightwire, a developer of optical interconnect technology, for $271 million in cash and incentives.

Lightwire, a start-up based in Allentown, Penn., specializes in CMOS photonics. Its optical interconnects promise to integrate multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a small silicon chip. Lightwire’s OASIS (Opto-electronic Application Specific Integrated Subsystem) platform is expected to offer lower power dissipation and smaller form-factor modules. On its website, the company says it is developing a range of high speed optical transceivers, but has not publicly announced any products to date.

"The acquisition of Lightwire will support our data center and service provider customers as they manage the continuing deluge of network traffic alongside tight capital and operating budgets," said Surya Panditi, senior vice president, Cisco Service Provider Networking Group. "With the combined know-how from Cisco in silicon design and Lightwire in CMOS photonics, we will transform Cisco's optical connectivity business to an integrated technology platform that supports our customers' burgeoning need for cost-effective high-speed networks."

Lightwire employees will be integrated into Cisco's Transceiver Modules Group Business Unit and Supply Chain Operations Group.

  • Lightwire is headed by Ameesh Divatia, who was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intelligent Network Products at Emulex Corporation from May 2006 to September of 2008. Earlier in his career, he was the founder of Pipelinks, which was acquired by Cisco in December 2008.


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