Opnext, Juniper Networks in coherent 100G ASIC deal

By Stephen Hardy -- Opnext (NASDAQ: OPXT) has agreed to sell key 100-Gbps ASIC intellectual property (IP) core and provide the necessary licenses to use it to Juniper Networks. Juniper will buy the IP for $26 million, then give Opnext a royalty-free license to use the core themselves.

[Updated] By Stephen Hardy -- Opnext (NASDAQ: OPXT) has agreed to sell a 100-Gbps ASIC intellectual property (IP) core and provide the necessary licenses to use it to Juniper Networks. Juniper will buy the IP core for $26 million, then give Opnext a royalty-free license to use it themselves in turn. The result will be the two companies can leverage the IP core for their respective 100-Gbps coherent ASIC development efforts.

The deal was revealed in Opnext's 10-Q filing on February 9, 2011. The filing describes the technology as "related to modem Application Specific Integrated Circuits used for long haul/ultra-long optical transmission." Without providing a full description of the IP, Opnext Executive Vice President. Business Development and Marketing/President, Subsystems Mike Chan described the ASIC IP core as a distillation of many of the features on display at last year's OFC/NFOEC as part of the prototype "Hurricane" 100G coherent technology that will form the basis of the company's upcoming 100G coherent transponder offering.

Juniper has paid Opnext $23.5 million of the total transaction fee, with the rest to be paid when Opnext delivers "additional assets" not part of the initial technology transfer. These assets appear to be software-related.

The deal jump starts Juniper's coherent transmission technology development efforts, while Opnext gains $26 million without having to interrupt its own efforts. Opnext expects to deliver first samples of its 100G transponder in the second half of this year, with general availability to follow early next year.

More in Optical Tech