Advanced data centre optical transceiver manufacturer, Kaiam has initiated a strategic transceiver reserve program, intended to protect US and European data centres from the effects of a US-China trade war.
The Trump administration recently enacted broad-based tariffs that could impede the importation of Chinese-made optical transceivers into the US. Because US Cloud data centre companies are largely dependent on a supply of Chinese-made transceivers, they are highly vulnerable to collateral damage from the increasingly turbulent US-Chinese relationship (see U.S. banned from selling to ZTE after activation of export denial and ZTE U.S. ban lifted). Kaiam is building a strategic reserve of transceivers that its customers can draw down in response to a dwindling Chinese product supply. It will populate this reserve with units fabricated in its UK facility, and says it welcomes partners to add to this reserve.
Said Jeremy Dietz, VP of global sales and marketing at Kaiam: ‘In today’s global economy, it’s easy to assume goods will flow seamlessly across borders indefinitely. We sometimes forget that the optical components that power Cloud companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others are virtually all made in China and are thus susceptible to trade tensions. As patriots, we believe a transceiver reserve is necessary for our domestic security. Our advanced technology and manufacturing process allows us to easily build a buffer to protect our nation in case of an embargo or even a natural disaster. We are currently exploring secure underground locations in states such as Utah and Nevada.’
Bardia Pezeshki, president and CEO of Kaiam added: ‘We are seeing the benefits of our $80m investment in the automated UK line, and have the capacity to serve a large fraction of the high-performance optical transceiver market. The MEMS-based micro-packaging technology, together with our recent massive investments in automation and infrastructure, provides our Western customers with a secure source, free of potential trade issues. We aim to serve the Asian market, with a similar local source, through our partnership with Broadex. This dual strategy eliminates any potential supply issues on both sides of the globe.’