CHICAGO In a move that adds lower-speed transceiver modules to its existing gigabit-speed optoelectronic product line, Methode Electronics Inc. has acquired Polycore Technologies Inc., a small supplier of highly integrated datacommunications modules for LAN equipment.
Polycore (Melbourne, Fla.) will operate as a newly created business division called Methode Communication Modules. It will continue to develop single-component solutions for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Token Ring, ATM, and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) applications, Methode said Thursday (May 27). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but industry analysts have estimated Polycore's annual sales at around $2 million.
Polycore's products integrate connectivity, isolation, transceiver and analog-digital conversion functions into a single small form-factor package with an RJ45 footprint for both optical fiber and UTP (unshielded twisted- pair) interfaces. "This is a product-line extension into the megabits-per-second data-rate products, and it's complementary to our Gigabit Ethernet product lines," said David Lipinski, executive director of corporate development for Methode (Chicago).
The acquisition is in line with Methode's recently announced effort to improve profitability by focusing on its higher-growth businesses, Lipinski said. In addition to the expansion afforded by the Polycore buy, Methode is planning to broaden its optoelectronic offering by developing products in the 2.5-Gbit range, as well as other lower-speed optoelectronic modules, according to Lipinski. "Those are internal developments and haven't come to fruition, so there's nothing out there," he said. "But one should not be surprised to see them later this calendar year."
At $2 million, Polycore's sales will represent a very small fraction of Methode's total revenue picture. But one industry analyst said the Methode name could help those products' popularity.
"We think Polycore's products have had difficulty gaining entry with important optoelectronic customers because it is still in a start-up mode," said analyst Jerry Labowitz of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (New York) in a report. "As part of Methode, we think Polycore's sales may be able to grow much more rapidly."