Intel acquires tunable laser technology

Intel Corp has acquired the network tunable laser technology of New Focus Inc for USD50m. New Focus has assigned intellectual property rights and will transfer the physical assets of the program. About 40 staff have joined Intel Communications Group. Combined with its existing optical packaging, it enables Intel to offer small-form-factor, low-cost tunable optical transceivers for DWDM.

Intel has also licensed technology and will supply packaged products back to New Focus, which will integrate them into photonics sub-systems and continue to supply products for test and measurement and other non-network applications. New Focus has previously focused on long-haul and says it does not want to undertake packaging itself.

Together with the optical packaging technology acquired with LightLogic for USD400m in April 2001 (and prior acquisitions of GIGA A/S, Cognet, nSerial and Level One Communications) this positions Intel as a supplier of DWDM building blocks.

In April New Focus closed a plant in China, sold its passive optical components product line to Finisar for USD12.75m, and cut 350 staff. "The cash generated provides funds to support our acquisition strategy," says president and CEO Nic Pignati.

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