Looking to maximize sales in the growing passive-optical components market, Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Microelectronics Group is forming a joint venture with privately held DiCon Fiberoptics Inc.
The new company, called LD Fiberoptics LLC, will be based in the Marina Bay area of Richmond, Calif.
Terms of the venture were not disclosed, but it involves melding Lucent's automated optical packaging and testing capabilities with DiCon's passive optical products to develop a family of integrated passive-optical components that increase system functions while lowering cost, the companies said in a statement.
"The demand for passive-optical components continues to grow rapidly while the industry's ability to efficiently manufacture these components has until now remained at a virtual standstill,'' said Dan DiLeo, president of the Optoelectronics division at Lucent's Microelectronics Group.
Lucent, Allentown, Pa., will have a controlling 51% stake in the new company, while Berkeley, Calif.-based DiCon will own the remainder.
"The combination of DiCon's high-quality, thin-film-coating technology and precision optics, and Lucent's state-of-the-art packaging processes gives us a unique advantage in a highly competitive market," said Dr. Ho-Shang Lee, president of DiCon Fiberoptics.
The joint venture arose from a product development agreement the two companies entered into last September, which involved automating their respective optoelectronics manufacturing processes using common production lines.
According to the agreement, DiCon will distribute products made by LD Fiberoptics to OEMs, while Lucent will fold the products into its line of optical-fiber amps. The deal follows Lucent's recent announcement that it plans to spend $30 million expanding its optoelectronics components operations.
The passive-optical components market is a $5 billion business, but the market is projected to swell to more than $21 billion over the next five years, according to industry estimates.
Products in the market center on dense-wavelength division-multiplexing (DWDM) technology, also known as wave-division multiplexing (WDM). The technology involves combining data from various sources on the same optical fiber with each signal travelling on separate wavelengths.