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12 February 2014

GigOptix and CPqD form joint venture BrPhotonics in Brazil

GigOptix Inc of San Jose, CA, USA (a fabless supplier of analog semiconductor and optical communications components for fiber-optic and wireless networks) and CPqD, an independent Brazil-based research center focused on information & communication technologies (ICTs) with activities in system- and device-level optical communications, have agreed to form the joint venture BrPhotonics Produtos Optoeletrônicos LTDA (BrP) of Campinas, Brazil.

Both partners will transfer into BrPhotonics their knowledge-base and intellectual property of existing technologies, and will jointly work through the partnership to enhance, develop and commercialize products based on them. GigOptix will transfer to Brazil its Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) technology, inventory related to the TFPS platform, and all the production line equipment currently at its facility in Bothell, WA. CPqD will transfer to BrPhotonics its silicon photonics (SiPh) technology, optical packaging expertise, and design and testing capabilities. It will also provide space for the BrPhotonics corporate headquarters as well as funding for the BrPhotonics operations.

CPqD will control a 51% stake in BrPhotonics and GigOptix the remaining 49%. The JV will be managed by a team of three officers and four board directors. The board of directors will include two representatives from GigOptix and two from CPqD, and will be initially chaired by GigOptix chairman & CEO Dr Avi Katz. BrPhotonics is launching operations immediately and will soon announce the nominated executives and board members.

GigOptix will act as BrPhotonics’ global exclusive sales and marketing agent for all its products, except in Brazil, where sales will be undertaken directly by BrPhotonics. GigOptix reckons that BrPhotonics will enable it to extend its business footprint in Brazil through access to a regional office and sales force.

BrPhotonics’ headquarters will be located within the CPqD campus. Logistics of the transfer of equipment and IP to BrPhotonics facility are beginning immediately.

“The creation of BrPhotonics is another innovative business strategy from GigOptix to gain access to advanced technologies and partner with some of the most highly skilled technical teams in the world,” says Katz. “This latest agreement follows our long history of similar access to new technologies, including when GigOptix licensed the silicon germanium (SiGe) millimeter-wave technology from IBM for E-band chipsets in June 2012, and several successful corporate acquisitions. More so, with the inception of BrPhotonics, GigOptix is setting a new and solid foothold in Brazil, which is one of the fastest-growing markets for our entire high-speed communications devices portfolio, as part of our global reach enhancement,” he adds.

The creation of BrPhotonics is “a strategic step to the increase photonic companies’ ecosystem in Brazil,” says CPqD’s CEO Helio Graciosa. “BrPhotonics creation represents an opportunity to reach the market with the latest advances in integrated photonics developed at CPqD in the last few years, supported by the Brazilian Government (Ministry of Communications/FUNTTEL and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation/FINEP). The complementary R&D activities between CPqD and GigOptix are key drivers to BrPhotonics roadmap and future products,” he adds.

“This partnership leverages expertise from GigOptix and CPqD to bring small-form-factor Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) modulation devices and silicon photonics (SiPh) based products to the market in the fastest and most efficient manner,” says Katz. “CPqD brings a wealth of silicon photonics knowledge, device designs, optical device packaging, and world-renowned systems capability to the partnership, and GigOptix reciprocates with our well-developed TFPS technology and our world-wide deep commercialization reach,” he adds. “GigOptix will continue to enhance our fabless, process-agnostic business model and to focus our efforts on the design and commercialization of semiconductor devices for high-speed communication links. This enables information streaming, end-to-end, over the network from the content generator and into the end-user appliances,” Katz continues.

“We are also pleased with the strong support that we have received from the Brazilian government,” says Graciosa. “The business plan for BrPhotonics that has been put together with CPqD and GigOptix represents a significant development opportunity for new optical components, reference platforms, and technologies.”

BrPhotonics' roadmap will include a 100Gbps DP-QPSK TOSA (transmitter optical sub-assembly) and ROSA (receive optical sub-assembly) for CFP2 form-factor reference platforms with the integration of a TFPS modulator. Future products are expected to include the development of a next-generation 100Gbps-1Tbps TOSA and ROSA for CFP4 form-factor reference platforms utilizing silicon photonics components. The TFPS technology is a zero-chirp medium for electro-optical modulation and is capable of very high data rates in advanced linear and multi-level modulation systems. Silicon photonics has potential advantages including longer optical link distances, lower power and cost, and smaller form factors, say the firms. This may enable novel communications architectures and platforms to address capacity concerns with growing cloud services, entertainment on-demand, and big data processing, they add.

In the January MarketsandMarkets report ‘Silicon Photonics Market by Products (Silicon Optical Interconnects & Wavelength Division Multiplexer Filters & Others), Applications (Telecommunication, Datacom, High Performance Computing & Others) & Geography - Analysis & Forecast (2013-2020)’, the global silicon photonics market is estimated to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5% from $88.66m in 2013 to $410.78m in 2020. This growth will be led by the telecom and datacom applications market for silicon photonics products, it adds. The report also projects that silicon photonics applications in the high-performance computing sector are expected to grow rapidly in the coming seven years, with a CAGR of 48%.

BrPhotonics’ products will utilize TFPS and SiPh technologies to advance 100Gbps-1Tbps fiber-optics long-haul, metro links and cloud connectivity. What is claimed to be a unique portfolio of small-form-factor components will address CFP2 and CFP4 applications by enabling greater network capacity through superior linearization, multi-level modulation, and other advanced techniques, say the firms.

BrPhotonics will showcase a 100Gbps TOSA for CFP2 reference designs in GigOptix’s booth (#1531) at the Optical Fiber Communication conference (OFC 2014) in San Francisco (11-13 March).

See related items:

GigOptix and CPqD partner at ECOC to showcase a full 100G/200G DP-16QAM system

Padtec’s Civcom and CPqD unveiling 100G multi-rate DP-QPSK coherent tunable transponder

Tags: GigOptix CPqD

Visit: www.gigoptix.com

Visit: www.cpqd.com.br/en

Visit: www.brphotonics.com

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