Comms chips

Motorola Leads BroadLight Funding

PON-chip vendor BroadLight Inc. may be expanding its prospects in U.S. fiber buildouts, as the company has snared Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) as an investor.

Motorola Ventures led BroadLight's Series D funding of $10 million, announced yesterday. The company joins PON vendors (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) -- through its venture capital arm -- and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) as investors in BroadLight, alongside Azure Capital Partners, Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Delta Ventures Ltd., Israel Seed Partners, and Star Ventures. (See BroadLight Raises $10M.)

All of BroadLight's prior investors participated in the D round, says Andrew Vought, Broadlight CEO.

BroadLight's hope is that this deal paves the way for supplying GPON chips to Motorola. That would give BroadLight another customer that's among the favorites in a GPON request for proposal (RFP) jointly issued by (NYSE: BLS), (NYSE: SBC), and (NYSE: VZ) earlier this week. (See GPON RFP Weighs In).

"We have no supplier relationship with Motorola today. Clearly one of the reasons this was attractive to us was that opportunity," Vought says.

It's certainly possible. BroadLight already supplies Tellabs with chips for BPON. Tellabs, in turn, supplies BPON to Verizon -- and Motorola was recently named as a second supplier in that deal. (See Moto Gets a Piece of Verizon FTTP.)

Motorola hasn't yet settled on a GPON supplier and will be considering BroadLight, says Matthew Growney, managing director of Motorola Ventures.

"We are going to be working on a commercial relationship once BroadLight's chip tapes out," he says, adding that the chip has looked good so far in FPGA implementations.

Among privately held PON chip vendors, BroadLight's rivals are Teknovus Inc. -- which focuses on EPON for Asia and is eschewing GPON for now -- and Passave Inc., which recently filed for an IPO. (See Profitable Passave Pushes for IPO.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

glass_man 12/5/2012 | 2:53:26 AM
re: Motorola Leads BroadLight Funding Does anyone know how much comptition Broadlight or any of the other triplexer makers pose to Luminent and their business with the bells?

Does anyone know the current status of the PLC based offerings from Neophotonics and others and is the technology there at the point where it can start taking share from the bulk optics makers? Thanks.
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