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GigOptix acquires Terasquare for low-power, high-speed silicon

Semiconductor supplier GigOptix has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Terasquare, a Seoul, Korea-based, fabless semiconductor company, in an all-cash deal.

Gigoptix will pay about $4 million to Terasquare's investors as well as an additional $1.15 million against Terasquare's debt and other liabilities. The acquisition is expected to close on 30 September.

“The acquisition of Terasquare is the next piece in our long-term plan of creating the industry’s premier supplier of datacom high-speed chip-set solutions,” said Avi Katz, GigOptix’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors.

Terasquare specialises in low-power, CMOS-based chips for 100Gb/s data centre networks including Ethernet, Fibre Channel and Infiniband. Founded in in 2010 by Professor Hyeon-min Bae of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the start-up developed an architecture that allows it to optimise the chip’s bit error rate and power consumption simultaneously.

The acquisition rounds out GigOptix’s portfolio of high-speed integrated circuits for data centre networks. Terasquare’s low-power CMOS chips will complement GigOptix’ expertise in high-performance silicon germanium, giving the company a complete portfolio of chips for 100Gb/s and beyond. GigOptix expects the market for 100 Gigabit Ethernet to really take off in 2017.

Following the acquistion, Terasquare will become the GigOptix headquarters in Korea under the name GigOptix-Terasquare Korea (GTK) Co., Ltd. Chief executive officer Jinho Park will join GigOptix as vice president of CMOS products engineering and general manager of GTK Co., Ltd., Terasquare founder Professor Hyeon-min Bae, currently the chairman of its board of directors, will become chairman of the Technical Advisory Board of GigOptix and a member of the board of directors of GTK.

“The knowledge that accompany Jinho and Hyeon-min, and the Terasquare team as a whole, will be applied to extend GigOptix’s datacom product portfolio with leading performance, and a disruptive roadmap,” said Katz.

“GigOptix and Terasquare have been acquainted for a long time, sharing the culture of technical innovation and execution excellence and we look forward to our future of unique and disruptive product developments,” added Dr. Park.

Terasquare’s unique all-CMOS, low-power architecture enables industry-leading performance with many integrated testability features. GigOptix highlights in particular Terasquare’s quad-channel clock data recovery (CDR) technology, which is aimed at 100 Gigabit Ethernet applications such as QSFP28, CFP2, CFP4 modules, as well as OTU-4, 32G Fibre Channel, and EDR Infiniband.

GigOptix will be integrating Terasquare’s products into its datacom portfolio, with 100Gb/s quad-channel CDR being rebranded as the HXC42400. The HXC42400 CDR will be partnered with GigOptix’s HXT8204 vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) driver and HXR8204 trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) to create a chip-set for optical module, active optical cable (AOC), and optical engine applications.

“The patented, low-power digital architecture further expands and complements our leading datacom trans-impedance amplifier and laser driver portfolio to include unique CDR products that can be user optimised for use in either the transmit or receive direction,” explained Tom Kapucija, datacom marketing director.

GigOptix’s internal evaluation and testing with the HXC42400 in combination with its TIA and VCSEL drivers showed that the partitioning of the CDR function and its power dissipation away from the temperature sensitive, high-performance vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and photo detector (PD) circuit elements enhanced overall performance – enabling 100 Gigabit Ethernet transmission over 300m using OM4 multimode fibre. “This is a first in the industry,” Kapucija claimed.

These matched parts – the HXC42400, HXT8204, and HXR8204 – will be shown as part of a live demo on GigOptix's booth #702, at ECOC 2015 in Valencia, Spain.

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