STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) and Onix Microsystems Inc. announced that the two companies have signed an agreement to co-develop and manufacture chipsets containing micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices and application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for use in Onix's TRANSPORT Optical Switching Engine. This agreement will position ST and Onix to better address the growing opportunities in optical switching for high capacity long haul and metropolitan area networks. These switches will be used for dynamic cross connects, add/drop modules, network provisioning and network restoration.
Onix's TRANSPORT subsystem forms an all-optical core for the next generation switching systems that enable end-to-end all optical networks, eliminating bottlenecks and simplifying upgrades. TRANSPORT is a scalable solution, which serves the high port-count and bandwidth requirements for the present, and will allow seamless capacity expansion in the future. MEMS optical switch devices are the enabling technology that makes optical switching cost effective. The proprietary MEMS optical switch at the heart of the TRANSPORT subsystem is based on a technology that allows microscopic MEMS mirrors to reflect incoming light beams into one of many outputs, rather than simply switching between two states; this approach greatly reduces the complexity of high port count solutions.
The agreement between ST and Onix will combine Onix's proprietary switch design know-how with ST's expertise in both MEMS and ASIC technology. Developing the MEMS and ASIC devices together will ensure that the complete chipset is highly optimized and, once in production, ST's high volume manufacturing capability will provide the chipsets required by Onix to meet the market demand.
Onix Microsystems, a privately held company located in Richmond, CA, designs, develops, and supplies MEMS-based all-optical switching engines for telecommunications equipment suppliers. For more information, visit www.onixmicrosystems.com.
STMicroelectronics is an independent semiconductor company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems. For more information, visit www.st.com.