Intel Corp. has purchased the network tunable laser business and technology from New Focus Inc. in a cash transaction valued at approximately $50 million. Per the agreement, approximately 40 employees from New Focus have joined Intel. Intel will also license technology and supply certain products to New Focus. New Focus will use these capabilities to continue supplying products to the test and measurement market segments.
When combined with Intel's existing optical packaging expertise, the acquisition of network tunable laser technology will enable Intel to offer small form factor, low-cost tunable optical transceivers to accelerate the deployment of DWDM equipment. In the future, tunable laser technology will help redefine the economics of providing optical bandwidth by enabling service providers to rapidly shift the available capacity of their optical networks to quickly add bandwidth in response to customer needs, explain company representatives.
In the current market environment, network service providers are struggling to meet the growing demand for bandwidth from customers while operating within very tight capital expense budgets. DWDM equipment provides a solution to this problem by separating light waves that travel over existing optical fibers into as many as 80 individual wavelengths, each capable of carrying 10-Gbits of data per second, effectively expanding the available bandwidth of the current fiber infrastructure by up to 80 times.
One of the drawbacks of DWDM solutions is that each wavelength has typically required a separate "fixed wavelength" laser designed to drive a specific wavelength, or color, of light over the fiber. This means that a 40-channel DWDM solution would require equipment manufacturers to stock 40 different transceivers, each with a different laser. Tunable transceivers can be adjusted through software to send different wavelengths of light over a fiber. Therefore, original equipment manufacturers can lower their costs by only qualifying and stocking a single tunable transceiver rather than different fixed wavelength parts.
"This acquisition augments the significant optical networking business that Intel has built over the past several years and Intel's world class silicon design and manufacturing capabilities," contends Gordon Hunter, vice president, Intel Communications Group, and general manager, Optical Products Group. "In particular, the addition of New Focus' tunable laser technology to the industry leading optical packaging technology we gained through the acquisition of LightLogic last year positions Intel as a leader in DWDM building blocks for the optical networking market segment."
The employees that have joined Intel are part of the Intel Communications Group and will be located in Intel facilities in Newark, Calif.
For more information about Intel (Santa Clara, CA), visit the company's Web site at www.intel.com.