Looking to ensure an adequate supply of passives for optoelectronic components and subsystems, Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Microelectronics Group has taken an equity position in Horizon Photonics Inc.
The minority equity investment will lead to higher volume, higher quality devices, and lower passives production costs, said Ed Coringrato, senior manager of planning and business development for Lucent's optoelectronics components business.
"This investment assures us an adequate supply of the passives we need to meet the increasing demand for optoelectronic components and subsystems," Coringrato said. "There are a lot of vendors out there, but demand is outstripping supply."
The deal also is expected to give Lucent, Allentown, Pa., access to Horizon's low-cost automated manufacturing processes, as well as an adequate supply of lenses, isolators, microcollimators, optical attenuators, and other passives used in optoelectronic components for high-bandwidth optical networking systems.
"The typical mode of operation for these types of products is manual assembly," Coringrato said. "This [deal] is about a company that's a leader in automating the manufacturing process for passive optical components."
Founded in July, 1997, Horizon has developed a proprietary micro-fixture design that allows micro-optics to be mounted in small transferable fixtures with flexibility for further downstream processing.
The investment will enable Horizon to expands its staff and facility, according to Bob Cullen, president and co-founder of privately held Walnut, Calif., company. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Last year, Lucent completed a multi-million dollar expansion of its automated laser packaging facility in Breinigsville, Pa., and installed additional automated production and testing equipment to complement its manufacturing process. Lucent is also undertaking a $30 million expansion of its facilities that will further increase its production capacity by the first quarter of 2000.
Lucent's Microelectronics Group designs and manufactures integrated circuits and optoelectronic components for the computer and communications industries. The company doesn't break out optoelectronic sales, but for the quarter ended June 30, Lucent's microelectronics products accounted for $902 million in revenue-an increase of $166 million from the year-ago quarter.