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Optical components

Ericsson, NSN Invest in Optical Startup

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Networks are among the latest investors in photonic chip startup Skorpios Technologies Inc. , which has just closed a $19 million Series B round.

The company, which is developing integrated opto-electronic modules and subsystems (using a process known as Composite-Semiconductor on Insulator, or C-SOI), believes it can significantly reduce the cost, size and power dissipation of optical components that will be used in next-generation transport and PON-based access infrastructure products.

Founded in 2009, the company is led by president and CEO Stephen Krasulick, who was formerly with Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR), Optium Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTM) and JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU). (See Emcore Tunes In XFP and Optium Intros Transponder.)

In addition to Ericsson and NSN, other unidentified communications systems companies and the startup's initial backers Cottonwood Technology Fund and Sun Mountain Capital (which jointly invested $2 million in August 2010) participated in the latest round.

Why this matters
Any investment in optical startups matters to Light Reading as it shows there are still companies out there prepared to pump some cash into cutting-edge optical R&D and that can only be good for the industry.

It's also very interesting that Ericsson and NSN are amongst the backers. NSN, which is investing in the development of next-generation optical access (NGOA) technologies, had already shown its interest in Skorpios by striking a strategic development agreement with the startup in March. (See Nokia Siemens Teams with Skorpios and Nokia Siemens Confirms PON Plans .)

And it's fun that Skorpios is also the name of a small Greek island with a reported population of two.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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