Juniper Networks had entered into an agreement to acquire Aurrion, the fabless silicon photonics start-up, for $165 million.
“The Company believes the acquisition will help to fuel its long-term competitive advantage by enabling cost-effective, high-density, high-speed optical networks,” said Juniper in a statement. The deal is expected to close this quarter.
Juniper is the latest systems vendor to bring silicon photonics technology in-house. Earlier this year Ciena acquired Teraxion, while in recent years Cisco acquired Lightwire, Mellanox bought Kotura and Huawei bought a small Belgium start-up, Caliopa.
Start-up Aurrion, like Intel, is a proponent of heterogeneous integration that combines indium phosphide and other technologies on a silicon wafer platform through bonding. The approach has still to be proven in commercial volumes but it promises the use of III-V materials on 12-inch silicon wafers manufactured in a chip fabrication plant.
Aurrion has made tunable lasers for telecom that cover both the C- and L-bands, as well as uncooled laser arrays for datacom applications. The start-up has also been developing high-speed transceivers for the data centre and working on the manufacturing aspects of silicon photonics. These include automated wafer-scale testing, connecting fibre to a silicon photonics chip, and packaging.
Juniper is thus getting an advanced silicon photonics technology suited for volume manufacturing that it will use to advance its data centre networking offerings.
Juniper may choose to make its own optical transceivers but, more likely, it will use silicon photonics as part of its switch designs to tackle issues of data centre scaling and the continual challenge of growing power consumption. Juniper could also use the technology for its IP core routers and longer term, to tackle input/ output issues alongside its custom ASICs.
Gazettabyte: Juniper Networks to acquire Aurrion for $165 million