Intel Extends Its Optical Networking Capabilities
Acquisition of Cognet and nSerial and Pending Acquisition of LightLogic ring Intel Key Technology for Lower-Cost, More Integrated Components for Optical Networking Systems
AUCKLAND - April 26, 2001 - Intel Corporation has announced it has agreed to acquire three companies with key capabilities and technologies for producing opto-electronic components - electrical components used in optical networking equipment. The acquisitions will extend Intel's product portfolio to include a new breed of opto-electronic components that lower the cost and power consumption of optical networking equipment.
Intel has acquired Cognet Inc. and nSerial Corporation, two developers of high-speed electronic components for 10 Gigabit Ethernet optical modules. Cognet has developed components that process electrical signals within optical modules after those signals have been converted from light waves. nSerial is developing 10 Gigabit Ethernet components that convert those electrical signals into the protocols used by networking devices. Both companies are developing chipsets using a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing process that helps reduce the chipsets' cost and power consumption associated with more exotic manufacturing processes currently in use.
Intel has also agreed to acquire LightLogic Inc., a leading provider of highly integrated, high-speed optical transponders targeted at the rapidly growing metropolitan market segment. These transponders integrate high-speed optics and electronic components into a single device that converts optical signals into fully formatted digital signals helping to reduce development time for optical networking equipment manufacturers.
"The optical networking equipment industry
is now segmenting in a way that requires unique solutions
for different market segments," said Mike Ricci, vice
president and general manager of Intel's Optical Products
Group. "Our communications equipment customers are asking
us to integrate high-speed electronic and photonic
components into cost effective building blocks that help
them reduce time-to-market. "Despite the current slowdown
in sales of networking and communications
gear, we believe that the investments we're making to add key opto-electronic capabilities, together with the company's core strengths in semiconductor technology, will enable Intel to lead in this industry when the inevitable recovery occurs."
The acquisitions announced today are the latest actions taken by Intel to extend its opto-electronic capabilities. During the past year, Intel has become a leading provider of opto-electronic silicon components for communications equipment that sends data over long distances at 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) - a speed known in the telecommunications industry as OC192. Intel's presence in this market segment is the result of its acquisition last year of Giga A/S. Intel is now developing its next generation of opto-electronic components, which will support data rates of 40 Gbps.
Intel has also begun investing in next-generation semiconductor manufacturing process technology targeted for the optical market segment. In February, Intel announced an investment in Communicant Semiconductor Technologies AG, based in Frankfurt, Germany. Communicant is building a manufacturing facility that will build semiconductor components based on a new Silicon-Germanium-Carbon process technology.
"To keep pace with the increasing bandwidth demands of our customers moving forward, it is essential that we have the ability to conduct parallel development efforts using multiple technologies and manufacturing processes," said Ricci. "Our customers will be able to count on Intel for first-generation building blocks for equipment that operates at the cutting edge of the speed curve and for lower cost, lower power consumption components for their more mainstream product lines."
About Cognet Cognet, headquartered in Los Angeles, develops electronic components for use in the 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules. Its products can be found at any point in the network where fiberoptic signals are terminated and converted into the electrical domain such as switches, servers and edge routers used for very high-performance communication applications.
About nSerial nSerial, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., develops high-speed physical layer components such as serializer/deserializer (SerDes) transceivers for the 10 Gigabit Ethernet market segment. These components are used in optical modules as well as a variety of copper media applications including chip-to-chip interconnects and equipment backplanes. About LightLogic LightLogic, headquartered in Newark, Calif., designs, manufactures and sells advanced integrated opto-electronic components to original equipment manufactures (OEMs) building next-generation optical communications systems. These opto-electronic components combine lasers, micro-optics and high-speed electronics into integrated devices called transponders. The acquisition is subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions. Intel expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of this year.