Oclaro, OEMs behind most of ClariPhy’s $24M in Series C funding

May 26, 2010
MAY 26, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- Mixed-signal, digital signal processing IC developer ClariPhy Communications Inc. has announced a $24 million Series C funding round. Most of that money, says ClariPhy cofounder and CEO Paul Voois, came from other members of the optical communications industry.

MAY 26, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- Mixed-signal, digital signal processing IC developer ClariPhy Communications Inc. has announced a $24 million Series C funding round. Most of that money, says ClariPhy cofounder and CEO Paul Voois, came from other members of the optical communications industry.

Approximately 60% of the round derived from a combination of Oclaro, which kicked in $7.5 million (see "Oclaro allies with ClariPhy for 100G coherent"), and what ClariPhy termed “multiple telecom OEMs.” Voois declined to identify the latter group by name in a conversation yesterday with Lightwave, other than to reveal that they are systems houses. ClariPhy’s existing venture investors -- Norwest Venture Partners, Allegis Capital, Onset Ventures, and Pacific General Ventures -- also participated in the round.

The company plans to use its newfound wealth to bring several new electronics devices into production. ClariPhy first made its mark with 10-Gbps electronic dispersion compensation devices based on Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation (MLSE). The company has at least four other chips in development: a 40G coherent device it is developing with Mintera, a 100G coherent chip with Oclaro, a high-density 10G chip, and a third high-speed device for which Voois declined to provide details.

Voois says that the investment from Oclaro won’t affect the company’s work with Mintera (see the interview with Mintera President and CEO Terry Unter on the Lightwave Channel for more on this project). He reports the 40G chip development has progressed well and samples should be available by the end of this year.

Not surprisingly, Voois reported broad interest in coherent technology in general and electronics in particular from potential customers. He sees the impending Cisco acquisition of CoreOptics (see "Cisco to acquire CoreOptics") as an opportunity to displace that company’s technology from customers who are Cisco’s competitors.

Voois also speculated that he might get a few phone calls from companies looking to follow Cisco’s lead and bring coherent electronics expertise in-house.

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