Cisco to acquire optical company Lightwire for $271 million

by CXOtoday Staff    Feb 27, 2012

Acquisition will allow Cisco to deliver cost-effective, high-speed networks with the next generation of optical connectivity.

Cisco said that it intends to acquire privately held Pennsylvania-based startup Lightwire for $271 million in cash.

Lightwire develops advanced optical interconnect technology for high-speed networking applications.

Cisco said that the acquisition will allow it to deliver cost-effective, high-speed networks with the next generation of optical connectivity, allowing service provider and data centre customers to meet the growing demands of video, data, voice, mobility and cloud services.

“The acquisition of Lightwire will support our data centre and service provider customers as they manage the continuing deluge of network traffic alongside tight capital and operating budgets,” said Surya Panditi, Senior Vice president, Cisco Service Provider Networking Group.

The combined know-how from Cisco in silicon design and Lightwire in CMOS photonics, Cisco aims to transform its optical connectivity business to an integrated technology platform that supports customers’ need for cost-effective high-speed networks.

Silicon (CMOS) photonics technology is expected to play a significant role in the enablement of high-speed networks, Cisco said in a statement.

With expertise in CMOS photonics and packaging design, Lightwire has made innovations in optical interconnects by integrating multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a small silicon chip. The smaller size, lower power consumption and scalability of Lightwire’s CMOS-based technology enable switches, routers and optical transport systems to have higher-density optical connectivity at a lower cost, allowing carriers to reduce their operational and capital costs and offer new revenue-generating services.

“Acquiring Lightwire’s advanced technology exemplifies Cisco’s build, buy, and partner innovation model and supports our focus on driving market leadership in core networking, one of Cisco’s five strategic priorities,” said Ned Hooper, Cisco’s Chief Strategy Officer.

Upon the close of the acquisition, Lightwire employees will be integrated into Cisco’s Transceiver Modules Group Business Unit and Supply Chain Operations Group. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2012.