January 11, 2011
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.
Here's a bit about what's been happening with Luxtera and with active optical cables.
Finisar to Demonstrate Industry's First InfiniBand FDR Active Optical Cable (Finisar's website)
Luxtera Enables 100Gbps Data Center Interconnects (Luxtera's website)
Luxtera Puts 30G in CMOS
Luxtera Supports 40GigE
Luxtera Extends Blazar
Luxtera Introduces Industry's Lowest Power 40G AOC (Luxtera's website)
And, from 2008, here's our report on silicon photonics in general.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
5G Transport & Networking Strategies Digital Symposium.Nov 07, 2023
Improve Service Efficiency in the Call Center and Field with Slack AutomationNov 08, 2023
Open RAN Evolution Digital Symposium Day 1Nov 14, 2023