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22 September 2015

GigOptix to acquire CMOS SerDes supplier Terasquare

GigOptix Inc of San Jose, CA, USA (a fabless supplier of high-speed semiconductor and optical communications components for long-haul and metro telecoms, cloud and data-center connectivity datacoms, point-to-point backhaul wireless applications, and interactive interfaces for consumer electronics links via fiber-optic and wireless networks) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Terasquare Co Ltd of Seoul, South Korea, a fabless supplier of low-power-consumption, CMOS SerDes (serializer/deserializer) high-speed communication interface semiconductors for 100Gbps Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and EDR Infiniband applications. The acquisition is expected to become effective on 30 September.

GigOptix is executing this acquisition as a cash deal, paying about $4m in cash to Terasquare's investors and an additional $1.15m of Terasquare's debt and other liabilities. The amounts to be paid are subject to customary adjustments. Based on the current Korean Government subsidies provided to Terasquare, the acquisition is neutral to accretive immediately upon closing.

"We have a proven track record of acquiring and integrating companies in the most financially prudent manner. Each acquisition has served as a building block to generate continuous growth in our business," says GigOptix's chairman & CEO Dr Avi Katz. "The acquisition of Terasquare is the next piece in our long-term plan of creating the industry's premier supplier of datacom high-speed chipset solutions. It also represents another point along our initial 2007 roadmap and Strategic Plan to expand GigOptix through inorganic and organic growth. We look forward to furthering our leadership position in the growing 100Gbps datacom market, which is being driven by the unprecedented install-base growth of the Cloud, data-center, Social and Web2.0, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data demand and, together with the optimization of our front-end customer support and technical teams, we will enhance GigOptix's position as a dominant player in the markets we serve," he adds.

"We are pleased to welcome the Terasquare team to the GigOptix family and to extend GigOptix's global operations, with Terasquare becoming the company's headquarters in Korea under the name GigOptix-Terasquare Korea (GTK) Co Ltd," continues Katz. "The acquisition puts us in an excellent position to enhance our dominating position at the current data-center 40Gbps active optical cables (AOCs) and transceivers generation, and with the introduction of the complete 100Gbps chip-set solutions, as the datacom market transitions from 40Gbps to 100Gbps, and to next generations in later years of PAM4 optical interconnects." GTK Co Ltd will also serve as GigOptix's hub for the proliferation of its other high-speed connectivity and consumer electronics products. 

"The acquisition of Terasquare completes GigOptix's 100Gbps datacom chip-set product portfolio, bringing to the market the best solution to support the insatiable need for unlimited bandwidth and speed of the interconnect pipes while maintaining the cost-centric structure of the products that address this market," reckons Dr Raluca Dinu, executive VP global customer operations. "The 40Gbps AOC and transceivers market will dominate the next few years, where GigOptix's ICs have undoubted leadership and, with the 100Gbps Ethernet market starting to become relevant in 2017 - with deployments for at least the following 5 years - GigOptix's enhanced solid team of very experienced analog and digital designers is poised to timely address the next wave of Ethernet deployments of PAM4 modulation format chipsets," he adds. "To support the strong demand and stringent performance requirements in the 100Gbps datacom market, we decided to combine the advantages of the silicon germanium (SiGe) technology for maximum IC performance and CMOS technology for lowest-power-consumption CDR (clock data recovery) at 100Gbps or beyond, for NRZ [non-return-to-zero] or later for PAM4 applications."

Analog and digital expertize

Terasquare's CEO Dr Jinho Park becomes GigOptix's VP of CMOS products engineering and general manager of GTK. Terasquare's chairman professor Hyeon-min Ba becomes chairman of GigOptix's Technical Advisory Board and a member of GTK's board of directors. "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," says Katz.

"GigOptix and Terasquare have been acquainted for a long time, sharing the culture of technical innovation and execution excellence," comments Park. "Terasquare's team will build upon GigOptix's strengths and leadership to bolster customers' ability to deliver innovative and differentiated products in the increasingly connected world."

Complete datacom product line

Terasquare's all-CMOS, low-power architecture platform enables allows integrated testability features. In addition to the quad-channel clock data recovery (CDR) technology and products for 100GbE datacom applications, additional products leveraging forward error correction (FEC) and electrical dispersion compensation (EDC) for other and complementary applications will become available as the two portfolios merge. The Quad CDR solution is applicable to 100Gbps Ethernet (QSFP28, CFP2, CFP4), OTU-4, 32G Fiber Channel, and EDR Infiniband.

"The patented, low-power digital architecture further expands and complements our leading datacom trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) and laser driver (LD) portfolio to include unique CDR products that can be user optimized for use in either the transmit or receive direction," notes datacom marketing director Tom Kapucija. "GigOptix's internal evaluation and 100GbE link testing, with the HXC42400, shows 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 enables operation with our TIA and VCSEL drivers to 300m using OM4 multi-mode fiber (MMF). This is a first in the industry," he claims.

GigOptix will be integrating Terasquare products into its datacom portfolio, including a re-branding of the quad-channel CDR to the HXC42400. Its unique architecture enables low power dissipation and what is claimed to be the industry's first solution with programmable receiver and transmitter bandwidth in a single device to optimize input jitter tolerance (IJT) and output jitter transfer for superior link performance. 

The bundling of the 100Gbps HXC42400 CDR with the already commercialized HXT8204 VCSEL driver and HXR8204 TIA are suitable for optical module, active optical cable (AOC), and optical engine applications with their partitioning of the CDR power dissipation from the temperature-sensitive, high-performance VCSEL, VCSEL driver, photo-detector and TIA circuit elements for 100m and extended-reach applications to 300m. 

The HXC42400, HXT8204 and HXR8204 are being shown operating as part of a live floor demonstration in booth #702 at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2015) in Valencia, Spain (28-30 September). 

See related items:

GigOptix public offering to support enhanced strategic growth through acquisitions

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