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Luxtera raises $21.7M in funding as its scales production

8 March 2012

 
Luxtera has raised US$21.7 million (€16.5 million) in its latest round of funding. The startup says it will use the C round finance to fund design-win opportunities and promote the market adoption of silicon photonics.
 
As part of the promotion of silicon photonics, Luxtera has signed an agreement with semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics to open a 300mm silicon wafer manufacturing line.  
 
Under the agreement, STMicroelectronics can use Luxtera’s technology while the startup can use the 300mm line to make its products. The fabless startup has until now used Freescale to make its chips. 
 
Luxtera has also opened its silicon photonics process and device library to Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon (OpSIS), a foundry service that opens up optoelectronic integrated circuit fabrication to more designers by sharing the cost of wafer manufacturing across multiple designs.
 
"With semiconductor economics you want to attack high-volume markets: datacom and the compute market have that attribute," said Chris Bergey, vice president of marketing at Luxtera. "There is tremendous usage of the same technology for many different markets but those markets are evolving at their own pace."
 
Luxtera says that it has numerous interactions with designers with product ideas but it is either not an established market or it is not aligned with the startup's focus. "By opening up our library through opSIS, we can now go to these poeple and say: 'That is a great idea, why don't you go build it? Here are our libraries," said Bergey, who compares the development with the open source software movement. "We expect great things to come of this," he added.
 
Late last year the startup announced its 4-channel 100Gbps optical engine and earlier this year achieved the milestone of shipping its one millionth 10Gbps channel.
 
By Roy Rubenstein