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19 July 2018

Kaiam initiates strategic transceiver reserve for data-center applications

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Kaiam Corp of Newark, CA, USA (which makes optical transceivers for hyperscale data centers) has initiated a strategic transceiver reserve program intended to protect US and European data centers from the effects of the incipient US-China trade war.

The Trump administration has recently enacted broad-based tariffs that could impede the import of Chinese-made optical transceivers into the USA. Kaiam says that, because US Cloud data-center 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. The firm reckons that, as one of the few remaining US-based optical transceiver companies, it is immune to the ill effects of US-China trade tensions. Kaiam is hence building a strategic reserve of transceivers that its customers can draw down in response to a dwindling Chinese transceiver supply. It will populate this reserve with units fabricated in its large-scale manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, UK, and welcomes partners to add to this reserve.

“In today’s global economy, it is 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,” says Jeremy Dietz, VP of global sales & marketing. “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,” he adds.

“Our Constitution implicitly guarantees the fundamental right to engage in online activities ranging from the sublime to the abject on a 24/7 basis,” comments chief technology officer Rob Kalman. “We view it as our patriotic duty to protect these rights, for it is more true than ever that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance!,” he adds.

“All humor aside, 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,” says president & CEO Bardia Pezeshki. “We aim to serve the Asian market, with a similar local source, through our partnership with Broadex [announced in May]. This dual strategy eliminates any potential supply issues on both sides of the globe.”

See related items:

Kaiam partners with Broadex for manufacturing and supply of transceiver modules in China

Tags: PICs

Visit: www.kaiam.com

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