Acacia Communications adds funding, hints at new products

Coherent transmission technology developer Acacia Communications has closed a new $20 million funding round. The money will be used for a variety of purposes, according to a company press release: expansion into new markets, development of new products and, potentially, acquisitions.

Coherent transmission technology developer Acacia Communications has closed a new $20 million funding round. The money will be used for a variety of purposes, according to a company press release: expansion into new markets, development of new products and, potentially, acquisitions.

New investor Summit Partners led the oversubscribed round, which closed less than two weeks ago; Summit Partners Managing Director Peter Chung earned a seat on the company’s board of directors as a result. Existing investors Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, and Egan Managed Capital also opened their wallets, according to company President and CEO Raj Shanmugaraj.

Acacia Communications made an impressive debut with its AC100 module, the first coherent optical transponder to reach commercialization (see “Acacia Communications details 100-Gbps coherent optical module”). Sister products are 6 to 12 months from announcement, Shanmugaraj told Lightwave this past Monday. The new offerings will be targeted at what he termed “high-growth segments” of the market, which likely means systems applications where pluggable modules are desired, as well as current designs ripe for reductions in cost and power.

Shanmugaraj declined to offer specifics, but perhaps provided some hints about these upcoming products in comments he made regarding the coherent market. As the company has written an article for Lightwave on the subject of metro requirements for coherent optical transceivers (see “Challenges and key technologies for coherent metro 100G transceivers”), he acknowledged the company has an offering for the metro in the works.

Meanwhile, he also said he believes there’s a market for a coherent CFP in the near term. He believes a coherent CFP2 transceiver is farther down the road. While many have discussed the necessity of removing the DSP ASIC from the module to meet CFP2 power and footprint requirements, Shanmugaraj points out that the interface between the module and the ASIC would present a challenge. For this reason, buying the ASIC and the module from the same supplier likely would make sense (Acacia has ASIC expertise in-house – one reason it got its transponder to market before competitors who had to wait for chips from outside sources.)

He also said that one shouldn’t underestimate how quickly silicon technology is descending the cost and power curve. While he stopped short of suggesting that the company would offer a CFP2 with the DSP ASIC integrated into the module, he said he would agree with the statement that such a configuration would be technically feasible within a few years.

For more information on transceivers and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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