Tellium's New MEMS Play

Partner Analog Devices pledges to augment Tellium's supply of optical switching technology

January 17, 2001

1 Min Read
Tellium's New MEMS Play

Yesterday, Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI) and Tellium Inc. announced that they will join forces to develop optical switch components (see Analog, Tellium Team on Components. Specifically, the companies plan to develop a series of advanced MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) chips.

The first question to jump into most peoples heads is this -- whatever happened to Astarte Fiber Networks, the MEMS maker Tellium acquired in October 2000? (See Tellium Acquires Astarte.)

"[This acquisition] is a complement to Astarte," says Tom Topalian, spokesperson for Tellium.He adds, "Tellium's building a broad portfolio of intellectual property to better position it in the market."

The Astarte acquisition did appear to be an intellectual property acquisition, rather than a people-driven acquisition, judging by the sudden departure of many Astarte executives.

As a result of the partnership, Tellium has access to two foundries. Astarte has its own foundry in Denver, Colorado, while Analog Devices has a foundry through its acquisition of BCO Technologies Ltd. (see Analog Devices Moves into MEMS). It's not clear which of these will ultimately manufacture the MEMS for Tellium's upcoming product, the Aurora Full Spectrum optical switch. One possibility is that the Astarte foundry will be closed down or, at the very least, moved -– though Topalian wouldn't confirm this.

— Pauline Rigby, senior editor, Light Reading,

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