17 March 2021
POET reports progress on Super Photonics Xiamen JV
POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada — designer and developer of the POET Optical Interposer and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for the data-center and telecom markets — has reported progress made on Super Photonics Xiamen Co Ltd (SPX), its joint venture with Sanan Integrated Circuit Co Ltd of Xiamen City, Fujian province (a subsidiary of Sanan Optoelectronics Co Ltd, China’s first 6-inch pure-play compound semiconductor wafer foundry).
Since signing the definitive joint venture agreement on 21 October, progress has been made in forming, locating, staffing and equipping SPX, whose mission is to create an assembly, test and sales operation for the production of optical engines based on the POET Optical Interposer platform. Specifically, POET has:
- completed official registration of Super Photonics Xiamen;
- nominated and appointed POET and Sanan IC members to the SPX board of directors;
- appointed a general manager, chief financial officer, director of R&D, two engineering and one general administrative staff (and five additional engineering staff have been made offers for appointment in April);
- completed temporary cleanroom and office facilities of 5000ft2 (co-located with Sanan IC in Xiamen) and committed to completion of a permanent 15,000ft2 facility in a high-tech industrial park outside Xiamen by the end of the year;
- ordered key capital equipment for delivery, installation and qualification in April-May; and
- received investment from Sanan IC of about US$5m to cover initial operating and capital expenditures.
Representing POET on the five-member SPX board is president & general manager Vivek Rajgarhia. Recruited and nominated by POET for the second position on the board is Dr Xiaozhong Zheng, general manager of SPX and former senior executive in the photonics industry (including, most recently, W.L. Gore, Huawei and Oclaro). Sanan IC has appointed its chief technology officer Dr Weizhong Sun as chairman and member, and Ruyan (Rita) Zheng of the Sanan Group corporate office as board member and part-time chief financial officer of SPX. With unanimous support of the board and both partners to the JV, Dr Yong-Zhen Huang, professor of the Institute of Semiconductors of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been appointed as the independent member on the board. Sun has designated Rajgarhia to serve as vice chairman.
Key initial appointments to the management team of SPX also include Dr Yonghong Hu (formerly with HiSilicon, Huawei and Oclaro) as head of R&D. Under the direction of general manager Zheng, SPX’s business plan calls for the recruitment and appointment of an additional 25 personnel, which should bring the headcount to about 30 by the end of 2021.
“Progress on the formation of SPX has been remarkably fast compared to the normal time that it takes to get a complex joint venture with a foreign owner officially registered in China, especially with the travel constraints accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic,” reckons Rajgarhia. “The benefits to POET of this joint venture are notable, as it provides a means for POET to bring products based on the Optical Interposer platform to market with a partner that is able to scale production quickly and efficiently,” he adds. “We have received remarkable support from Sanan IC and from key staff in POET’s Shenzhen office to prepare the SPX operation for what is expected in the coming months, including qualification of equipment and processes, assembly & testing of several product prototypes, establishing good initial customer relationships and making preparations for scaling production early next year,” Rajgarhia comments.