JDSU expands datacom portfolio with Picolight

MILIPITAS, CA -JDSU will pay around $115 million in stock and up to $10 million in cash to acquire Picolight (Louisville, CO), a developer and manufacturer of optical pluggable transceivers.

MILIPITAS, CA -JDSU will pay around $115 million in stock and up to $10 million in cash to acquire Picolight (Louisville, CO), a developer and manufacturer of optical pluggable transceivers. With the addition of Picolight’s high-growth pluggable optics technology, JDSU strengthens its ability to address the fast-growing market for optical interconnect applications in the data center, enterprise, storage area, and metro networking markets. The deal is expected to close by the end of June, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

With more than 1 million small form-factor pluggable products shipped, Picolight has been an active player in the development of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers used in high-speed and short-to-medium distance optical interconnects. The addition of Picolight’s 850- and 1310-nm VCSEL-based transceiver products to JDSU’s current data communications product portfolio brings innovative technology with the performance, reliability, and manufacturability needed to address a range of markets, say company representatives.

Company spokesperson Noel Bilodeau confirmed that JDSU will continue to support Picolight’s long-wavelength VCSEL work. (When JDSU acquired E2O Communications in May 2004, the company shelved E2O’s long-wavelength VCSEL program.) Bilodeau noted that the previous IBM and E2O acquisitions enabled JDSU to enter the datacom space and positioned JDSU as the number 2 player in storage-area networking.

“With Picolight, we will be acquiring an asset that has well-established vertical integration, key strategic partnerships on IC development and manufacturing, and an already established off-shore contract manufacturing-based footprint. Picolight will further strengthen JDSU’s datacom business from a product, technology, and business model,” Bilodeau said in an e-mail to Lightwave magazine, another Pennwell publication.

“The combination of Picolight’s VCSEL and datacom expertise with JDSU’s global reach and resources will put a compelling new competitive presence in the market,” added Steve Hane, Picolight president and CEO (other companies in this market niche include Avago and Finisar). “We believe we have an opportunity to alter the datacom optics landscape by creating a best-in-class product portfolio for data centers and enterprise networks worldwide.”

Mike Ricci, senior vice president of JDSU’s optical communications group, believes that the Picolight acquisition “puts JDSU in an excellent position to serve existing and near-term requirements for 8- and 10-Gigabit network data management. By adding to our vertically integrated photonics platform, we also will provide our customers a clear pathway and solid foundation to scale to 100 Gigabits in the future,” he said.

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