Comms chips

Nokia Siemens Invests in ClariPhy

Chipmaker ClariPhy Communications Inc. has secured a $14 million round of funding with investors including Nokia Networks .

ClariPhy, whose products include an ASIC for 40Gbit/s optical modules, raised $24 million last year. CEO Paul Voois won't say how much ClariPhy has raised in total, but he says it's more than $50 million.

Why this matters
It's fallout from the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) acquisition of CoreOptics. ClariPhy would have gotten its funding anyway, but Nokia Siemens has extra incentive having seen its declared 40Gbit/s partner get snapped up.

Cisco has continued to supply CoreOptics's customers, including Nokia Siemens, as a spokeswoman confirmed before the ClariPhy arrangement had been announced. (Light Reading had asked after the announcement that SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) had chosen Nokia Siemens for 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s transport.)

But that's short-term. Nobody expects systems vendors to go begging to Cisco long-term, even if Cisco remains willing to sell the technology. Nokia Siemens's investment helps cement a 40Gbit/s and probable 100Gbit/s chip source.

ClariPhy's 40Gbit/s chip combines a few key elements of a coherent receiver: a digital signal processor (DSP), an analog-to-digital coverter (ADC), and a multiplexer/demultiplexer. The company plans to develop the same chip for 100 Gbit/s, Voois says. (He isn't saying when.)

ClariPhy was probably the only choice for Nokia Siemens at the time, but competition is arriving. In May, PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) announced plans for its own 40Gbit/s coherent ASIC, called POLO, which is due to sample in the third quarter.

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— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:01:31 PM
re: Nokia Siemens Invests in ClariPhy

One interesting thing about the merchant 40G coherent chips is the mux/demux integration.  I think it's pretty clear people want to avoid having that piece delivered by an outside vendor (as with Sierra Monolithics in earlier 40G deployments).

The integrated 100G chips are going to be really interesting. There's a lot to pack in there.

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