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NeoPhotonics acquires photonic integration specialist Santur

6 October 2011
 
NeoPhotonics is to acquire Santur, the tunable laser and photonic integration specialist. The move will broaden NeoPhotonics’ 40Gbps and 100Gbps component portfolio as well as making it a leading provider of tunable lasers.
 
NeoPhotonics will pay US $39.2m (€29.4m) in cash for Santur, and up to $7.5m more depending on Santur’s market performance between now and when the transaction is completed by the end of 2012.
 
The acquisition will help NeoPhotonics become a stronger, vertically integrated transponder supplier, particularly for high-end products, says Daryl Inniss, practice leader at Ovum Components.
 
Santur has made its name as a tunable laser supplier, and is estimated to have a 50% market share. More recently it has developed parallel arrays of 10Gbps transmitter photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and is a key player in the 10x10 multi-source agreement (MSA). It also supplies 40Gbps and 100Gbps 10km transceivers, in QSFP and CFP form factors, respectively.
 
The acquisition will complement NeoPhotonics’ 40Gbps and 100Gbps integrated indium-phosphide receiver components, enabling the company to provide the various optical components needed for 40 and 100Gbps modules. However, according to Inniss, an outstanding technical hurdle is for Santur to develop a 28Gbps transmitter.
 
The 10x10 MSA is designed to compete on cost with the IEEE 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) 10km LR4 and 40km ER4 standards. Large content service providers such as Google want cheaper 100GbE interfaces and the 10x10 MSA module, build out of 10x10Gbps electrical and optical interfaces, is approximately half the cost of the IEEE interfaces.  
 
In August the 10x10 MSA announced further specifications: a 10km version of the 10x10 MSA as well as two 40km-reach WDM interfaces: 4x100Gbps and 8x100Gbps. 
 
By Roy Rubenstein