8 February 2010


GigOptix gives update and outlook for 2010

GigOptix Inc of Palo Alto, CA, USA, which designs modulator and laser drivers and transimpedance amplifier (TIA) ICs based on III-V materials as well as polymer electro-optic modulators, has provided an update on its strategic plan for 2010.

“2009 was another eventful year for GigOptix as we continued to emphasize and focus on executing both our organic and strategic growth initiatives,” says chairman & CEO Dr Avi Katz. “Over the past several years it has been our strategy to identify and acquire businesses with synergistic qualities in markets vertical to our core business, with a strong product and customer base and advanced intellectual property, along with other valuable assets,” he adds. These acquisitions include iTerra Communications LLC (a manufacturer of amplifiers and modulator driver ICs) in July 2007, Helix Semiconductors AG of Zurich, Switzerland (a manufacturer of transimpedance amplifiers, limiting amplifiers, and VCSEL drivers) in January 2008 and Lumera Corp of Bothell, WA, USA (a manufacturer of polymer electro-optic modulators) in December 2008

This strategy culminated last November with the firm’s largest acquisition so far, ChipX Inc of Santa Clara, CA, a privately held fabless supplier of analog and mixed-signal custom application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) including standard cell, structured ASIC and hybrid ASIC technology.

“ChipX more than doubled 2009 revenue on a pro forma consolidated basis and brings an attractive set of valuable customer relationships, providing us the opportunity to cross-sell existing products,” Katz says. GigOptix has begun restructuring and integrating ChipX to deliver cost reductions through physical consolidation of the firm’s headquarters in the Bay Area, elimination of redundancies, cost reductions of service and tools, and sizing the organization appropriately. “Although only a few months removed from the closing of this acquisition, integration has gone well and we have already begun to see the financial benefits during the first quarter of 2010,” Katz reports.

GigOptix comments that it has has recently made progress expanding its existing product and customer base, which the company reckons should deliver opportunities for revenue growth in 2010. Highlights include:

  • increasing traction with Government agencies, receiving an award of $4.5m sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop integrated driver and polymer modulator technology to support terabit networks (with most work expected to be performed in 2010);
  • continuing to maintain strong ties with the US Government, military and other governmental agencies (expecting to receive more contracts in the future);
  • launching a new family of TIAs for optical receivers (to complement the firm’s optical drivers);
  • winning key contracts with several major customers to supply GX6120 electro-absorption modulated Laser drivers, GX6155 Mach–Zehnder modulator drivers, and the HX family of parallel drivers and receivers for use in active optical cables including optical HDMI (with particularly strong traction with customers in Asia); and
  • progress with sales of 100G polymer modulators for research applications and extending the temperature stability of EO polymer with the introduction of the M3 material (with the product having passed Telcordia-level testing and now being used in the latest 40G and 100G modulators to be released this year).

“In conjunction with our integration of ChipX, our acquisition strategy, and continued organic growth plans, we have materially enhanced our management team,” continues Katz. New chief financial officer Ron Shelton (appointed in December) and VP of optical communications sales Jay de la Barre both bring strong financial and industry experience that will play critical roles in GigOptix’s growth, he adds.

GigOptix says that it will report its fiscal 2009 results in March.

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