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Optical components

Luxtera Exits Active Optical Cables

Luxtera Inc. has sold its active optical cable business to Molex Inc. (Nasdaq: MOLX), an established vendor of cabling and connectors. Luxtera will continue providing the silicon photonics chipsets that make the cables go. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Active optical cables -- which convert electronic inputs into optical form for transport -- are used mostly for Infiniband connections in data centers and high-speed computing. Luxtera has been working to apply the concept to 40Gbit/s Ethernet switches as well.

Why this matters
Silicon photonics have a lot of potential in telecom optics, but it's still uncertain how viable the startups in that area will be. This deal seems to indicate that Luxtera found a good niche -- just one where the end product is better served by a bigger company.

"I have the impression cables are a hard business to break into from a distribution standpoint," because it's an industry where big companies dominate, Ovum Ltd. analyst Karen Liu writes in an e-mail to Light Reading. "If Luxtera keeps making the insides and Molex is the channel to market, that may make more sense than a standalone business."

Luxtera officials say their silicon photonics work is still chugging along, but it's mostly done under nondisclosure agreements, so they're not saying much else.

For more
Here's a bit about what's been happening with Luxtera and with active optical cables.

And, from 2008, here's our report on silicon photonics in general.



— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:15:34 PM
re: Luxtera Exits Active Optical Cables

On a related and more amusing note:


Intel apparently said on Friday that its Light Peak interface is ready to go. Except it won't be using the "Light" part. Here's the Computerworld report.

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