11 August 2022
POET reports NRE revenue from multiple customers in Q2
For second-quarter 2022, POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada — a designer and developer of the POET Optical Interposer and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for the data-center and telecom markets — has reported non-recurring engineering revenue (NRE) of $120,261, compared with $209,100 a year ago and nil last quarter. The firm provided services under an NRE contract to one customer in 2021. In 2022, the firm is now providing similar services to multiple customers, one of which continued to contract services from last year. The revenue relates to unique projects that are being addressed utilizing the capabilities of the POET Optical Interposer.
Net loss was $5.283m ($0.14 per share), up from $4.408m ($0.13 per share) a year ago but cut from $5.433m ($0.15 per share) last quarter. The net loss included R&D costs of $1.8m.
Also, the non-cash impact of the Super Photonics Xiamen (SPX) joint venture with Sanan Integrated Circuit Co Ltd of Xiamen City, Fujian province, China, was -$0.746m compared to nil a year ago and -$0.43m last quarter. POET’s share of the operating loss in Super Photonics is about 88.5% due to the high value of its initial contribution.
Cash outflow from operating activities was -$3.3m, worse than -$2.7m a year ago but an improvement on -$3.7m last quarter.
POET ended Q2 with $13.8m in cash and marketable securities, no convertible debentures and no debt. Working capital was $12.4m.
POET says that, during the quarter, it achieved the following milestones:
- Announced the availability of its 400G FR4 and 800G (2x400G FR4) Receive (RX) Optical Engines and the sampling of its 200G FR4 Transmit (TX) and Receive (RX) Optical Engines through SPX.
- SPX added two new customer engagements in China with module companies designing their transceivers to use the firm’s 100G, 200G and 400G optical engines, bringing the total number of active customer engagements for both SPX and POET to 10.
- Appointed Theresa Lan Ende (chief procurement director of Arista Networks) and Michal Lipson PhD (professor of physics at Columbia University, and a pioneer in silicon photonics) as advisors to the board of directors. POET intends to nominate both as directors at its Annual General Meeting on 14 October.
- Joined the Singapore Hybrid-Integrated Next Generation µ-Electronics (SHINE) Centre in the College of Design and Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Participation as a founding member gives the firm access to advanced packaging tools and engineers, as well as opportunities to showcase its technology and collaborate with a global industrial and academic network of companies and universities.
- Presented ‘A Wafer Scale Hybrid Integration Platform for Co-packaged Photonics using a CMOS-based Optical Interposer’ at the 2022 IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology & Circuits in Hawaii.
POET has identified two key milestone objectives for the balance of 2022:
- the development of a 400G FR4 multiplexed TX engine that will be combined with the existing 400G RX to create a full transmit and receive sub-assembly for a 400G transceiver module; and
- the delivery of samples of a packaged light source assembly for Celestial AI, a lead customer in the emerging growth market for artificial intelligence–machine learning (AI-ML) accelerator chips.
The 400G FR4 TX and RX optical engines are the building blocks for an 800G FR4 optical engine that POET intends to introduce to the market in time to capture a major inflection point identified in the April LightCounting forecast report, in which deployments of 800G (2X400G) and 1.6T transceiver modules are expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 80% from about 2 million units in 2024 to 14 million units by 2027. For packaged light sources, the ultimate market potential is larger, with estimates of the total market size being about $125bn by 2027, which the firm estimates will offer a serviceable market opportunity of over $4bn by 2027.
In support of the strategy to develop transceiver modules, the firm has also modified the Optical Interposer platform so that it can more readily accept lasers from leading global suppliers, and included the capability to assemble the necessary electronic components directly onto the interposer platform. POET has developed and will sample later this year a 400G RX with an integrated trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) and a 200G FR4 TX with an integrated laser driver. This integration of additional electronics components has demonstrated a further increase in performance of the optical engines and simplified module board design for customers.
“Following the live demonstration of our 200G FR4 multiplexed TX and RX optical engines and our ground-breaking live demonstration of our 400G/800G FR4 multiplexed RX engine at the Optical Fiber Conference in March, we received multiple requests for technical data, samples and meetings with interested customers and business partners,” says chairman & CEO Dr Suresh Venkatesan. “We are executing well towards our dual strategy to make available integrated optical engines for 100/200G to promote market traction and acceptance, while simultaneously delivering more differentiated solutions at 400/800G and beyond. There is a strong desire among module companies to embrace our approach as we qualify our solutions and demonstrate the required levels of reliability and manufacturability by releasing our solutions to production. We have already begun the process of validating performance, reliability and manufacturability with select customers who are designing modules with our 100G and 200G optical engines,” he adds.
“Even though the vast majority of 100/200/400G optical transceivers sold today are built using discrete sub-assemblies, the discussions during the recent PIC conference strongly indicate that the industry is rapidly approaching a period in which hybrid integration will be recognized as one of the few paths to meeting the scale, size and energy performance requirements of the industry,” Venkatesan says. “As the number of channels increase from 4 to 8 to 16 (in going from 400G to 1.6T), the balance between conventional assembly and integrated assembly transitions quickly in favor of chip-scale integration and wafer-level processing, both fundamental tenants of the POET approach. It is widely acknowledged that a small-form-factor 2x400G multiplexed FR4 integrated solution is needed at 800G and absolutely required at 1.6T, and we believe that POET is in a pole position to deliver it,” he adds.
“Further, we believe the Optical Interposer platform is among a few, if not the only, packaging technology that can provide the scale, size, power and cost requirements needed for optoelectronic applications outside of datacom and telecom, including optical computing, AR/VR, wearables, LiDAR and other more consumer-oriented products, that will require vastly larger numbers of devices to be produced annually at lower cost and higher performance.”