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Ciena acquires TeraXion’s high-speed photonics business

Ciena has reached an agreement with privately held Canadian company TeraXion through which it will acquire TeraXion’s high-speed photonics components (HSPC) assets for about $CA 46.6 million (€29.3 milion) in cash.

The purchase includes TeraXion’s high-speed indium phosphide and silicon photonics technologies as well as critical underlying intellectual property.

TeraXion will retain its dispersion compensator, fibre laser and optical sensing businesses, with 120 employees remaining with TeraXion in Québec City. Thus the deal, effectively returns the company to its roots as a developer of fibre Bragg grating technology.

TeraXion branched out into integrated photonic components in 2012, which ultimately led to the development of a prototype 400G optical modulator last year (see TeraXion to display 400G IQ modulators at ECOC 2015). The company was also investigating silicon photonics (see Disruptive technology or just a silicon blip?).

These are the technologies that Ciena is keen to get its hands on, describing them as ‘key enablers’ of its WaveLogic coherent optical chipsets, which power Ciena’s packet optical platform.

“The TeraXion HSPC assets advance Ciena’s established leadership in high-speed optics and enhance our ability to develop differentiated solutions that enable service providers to scale their networks with greater programmability and agility,” stated Scott McFeely, senior vice president, networking platforms at Ciena.

With this acquisition, Ciena will maintain critical design and innovation resources in Québec City and bolster its R&D centre of excellence in Ottawa. Canada is home to Ciena’s largest employee base and more than 50 per cent of its global research and development team.

“This is a new chapter for our HSPC activities and clearly an exciting opportunity for our employees to advance our technology set as part of the vision of an industry leader like Ciena,” said Martin Guy, TeraXion’s current chief technology officer, who will join the packet optical platforms business at Ciena and serve as the company’s site leader in Québec City.

“As part of Ciena, the HSPC team will be in a position to optimise its products specifically for use in Ciena’s WaveLogic coherent platform, providing significant benefits,” added Ian Woods, TeraXion’s current HSPC Business Unit leader who will also be joining the Packet Optical Platforms organisation at Ciena.

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