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More opto consolidation as CyOptics buys Apogee

Pennsylvania's Apogee Photonics comes under the wing of its near neighbor CyOptics in the latest move to consolidate InP optoelectronic chip manufacturing.

InP optoelectronic component foundry CyOptics is set to acquire fellow chip manufacturer and close neighbor Apogee Photonics.

The deal is a clear sign of renewed consolidation in the optoelectronics business, which recently saw Avanex decide to exit chip manufacture and hand ownership of its InP and GaAs fab to a serial entrepreneur, and JDSU acquire Picolight (see related stories).

Allentown-based Apogee is a key supplier of high-performance, uncooled laser chips for 10 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s optical communication networks, and the acquisition further bolsters CyOptics position as a single source for a wide range of such components.

CyOptics told compoundsemiconductor.net that it would switch Apogee s chip fab operations in Allentown to within its own InP facility, which is only eight miles away in Lehigh Valley. The Allentown fab covers all processes from epitaxy through to wafer dicing.

"The optoelectronics industry is continuing its consolidation and CyOptics is growing its revenue by offering our customers one-stop-shopping for best-in-class component solutions," said CyOptics CEO Ed Coringrato.

Apogee was formed in July 2005 through the merger of T-Networks and ASIP, just two months after CyOptics had emerged as a key player in the consolidation of the optical components industry with the acquisition of TriQuint s optoelectronics business unit (see related stories).

The value of the latest deal has not been disclosed, but it seems unlikely that the venture capitalists who invested a total of nearly $70 million in Apogee over the last few years will have recouped all of that cash.

On the other hand, the future for CyOptics looks bright. Apogee CEO Mike Decelle said that the combination of CyOptics and Apogee would benefit from a complementary line-up of both products and customers.

"Apogee has established a leadership position in high-speed source lasers, so CyOptics is well positioned to address all of the high-growth markets for optical components," Decelle said.

Products set for rapid growth in demand include 10 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s lasers and detectors for pluggable transceivers, tunable laser transmitters, optical components for broadband access networks such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), and photonic integrated circuits for next-generation network applications.

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