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Analog Devices Moves into MEMS

The potential importance of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) in optical networking equipment was underscored last Friday when a leading semi-conductor manufacturer, Analog Devices Inc. http://www.analog.com, announced a likely acquisition in this field.

Analog Devices has made an offer of $150 million in stock for BCO Technologies PLC http://www.bco-technologies.com, a Belfast, Northern Ireland, startup making wafers and MEMS. A majority of BCO’s shareholders have approved the take-over, subject to a better offer not being forthcoming before the deal closes at the end of July.

BCO makes so-called thick-film bonded wafers based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. It then hollows out parts of these wafers to make MEMS, according to its customers’ designs. The startup’s technology is particularly suitable for making the arrays of tiny tilting mirrors used in all-optical switches, according to its CEO, Scott Blackstone.

This is the third acquisition of a MEMS-maker in as many months (see Big Vendors Acquire MEMS Makers).

Shares in BCO Technologies are traded on London's AIM (Alternative Investment Market) under the ticker symbol of BOH. They closed today at 390 pence, 12 pence lower than the offer price of 402 pence.

-- by Peter Heywood, international editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com
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