aXenic acquires Finisar’s high-speed modulator business

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Optical start-up aXenic has acquired Finisar UK Ltd and its optical modulator business for an undisclosed sum from parent company Finisar.

Founded through a management buyout in August 2015, aXenic, plans to address wider markets than the telecom business that was the focus of its activity as part of Finisar.

aXenic’s technology was originally developed as part of the semiconductor business within Filtronic, and was acquired by u2t Photonics in 2009, which in turn was acquired by Finisar last year.

The company’s expertise lies in high-speed gallium arsenide optical modulators, covering semiconductor modulator design, optical and high-speed test and optical packaging.

aXenic currently offers gallium-arsenide-based modulators for telecom markets at speeds of 100G and beyond. Products on its website include the aXPD2340, a fully integrated polarisation multiplexed IQ optical modulator, which is ideal for dual-polarisation quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) up to 56 Gbaud per channel, yielding a data rate of 224 Gb/s. The part is also suitable for polarisation multiplexed 16-QAM to generate a 400Gb/s single-carrier transmission rate.

One of its modulators will be demonstrated on the Tektronix stand 435 at ECOC 2015 in Valencia, Spain, this week.

With its largely UK based supply chain, aXenic is a fabless supplier, and says its product platform is supported by its established and developing patent portfolio.

Steve Clements the CEO of aXenic said: “We are really excited about the prospects of the new operating business with the opportunity to broaden our market access and interests for the developing business in highest speed and high-bandwidth modulator products.”

Gallium arsenide devices are essentially field-operated, low-current devices they do not require temperature control and are stable, robust and long-lived. The company expects that these properties will suit a range of applications in new optical markets such as avionics, vehicles, and optical sensing.

The company says it will continue to develop its business with support of European collaborative projects.

 

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