Intel has struck deals to acquire three specialists in opto-electronic components as it bids to build a product war-chest in the sector despite today's tough market conditions.
It is paying $400m for LightLogic, a maker of ICs for high-speed fibre optic subsystems and some $66m is being spent on nSerial, which makes CMOS chipsets for 10Gbit/s Ethernet and FibreChannel.
The third company is Cognet. It makes VCSEL drivers and amplifiers for OC-48 and higher speed optical networks. Terms of this deal were not disclosed.
LightLogic's main products are transponders that integrate high-speed optics and electronic components into a single device that converts optical signals into fully-formatted digital signals. Intel sees the company's offerings as reducing time-to-market for optical networking equipment manufacturers.
The attraction of nSerial's product mix is that it reduces chipset costs and power consumption for equipment made using cutting edge manufacturing processes.
Cognet's components process electrical signals within optical modules after those signals have been converted from light waves.
Mike Ricci, vice president and general manager of Intel's Optical Products Group, said that Intel wants to address an optical networking equipment sector that "is now segmenting in a way that requires unique solutions for different market segments".
"Despite the current slowdown in sales of networking and communications gear, we believe that the investments we're making to add key opto-electronic capabilities will enable Intel to lead in this industry when the inevitable recovery occurs,"