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22 March 2017

Kaiam expanding UK manufacturing capacity by acquiring Compound Photonics’ facility

Kaiam Corp of Newark, CA, USA - a private company founded in 2009 commercializing hybrid photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology for pluggable optical transceivers in data-centers - intends to acquire the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics Group Ltd (CP) in Newton Aycliffe in the UK. The acquisition includes investment by CP into Kaiam to further develop the facility. The agreement is subject to final approvals, but is expected to close in second-quarter 2017.

The large (300,000ft2) manufacturing space enables the expansion of Kaiam’s datacom transceiver manufacturing capacity, and includes an extensive cleanroom for processing III-V devices, including pHEMTs, HBTs, photodetectors, and lasers. Originally built as a silicon fab for DRAM memory chips, the plant was converted to III-V materials by subsequent acquirers and now has both a 3” and 6” line for III-V devices.

Kaiam says that the addition of the Newton Aycliffe facility continues its trajectory of vertical integration. The firm acquired Gemfire, its strategic photonic lightwave circuit (PLC) supplier, in 2013. It currently operates an 8” silica-on-silicon line for the fabrication of integrated optical components in Gemfire’s large-scale manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, UK, where it also operates 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s optical packaging lines that are close to capacity due to increased demand. The Newton Aycliffe facility, with the fully operational wafer fab, allows Kaiam to expand its silica-on-silicon and transceiver manufacturing, and provides a long-term roadmap to add integrated indium phosphide (InP) photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for advanced transceivers.

“Our optical integration technology is based on MEMS-assisted assembly of different materials and components,” says CEO Bardia Pezeshki. “We already have advanced integration in silica-on-silicon for manipulating light. In the future, with new modulation formats and increased speed, one also needs integration in the InP for generating, modulating and detecting light. By using our unique hybrid integrated technology for combining silica-on-silicon PICs and InP PICs, we get the best of all worlds,” he adds. “The Newton Aycliffe site is a world-class facility in both capabilities and scale for producing III-V devices. This acquisition not only allows us to ramp product in the short term, but gives us access to advanced integrated InP PICs at low cost that we will need in the long term.”

“CP no longer needed an in-house laser facility at Newton Aycliffe, and is very pleased that its Newton Aycliffe team are joining a fast-growing company in Kaiam,” comments Compound Photonics’ chief financial officer Brian Bolger. “As part of the transaction, CP is investing in Kaiam to become a significant shareholder.”

See related items:

Kaiam recruits former PLM director at Lumentum/JDSU as VP of sales

Tags: 100G optical modules

Visit: www.kaiam.com

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