Luxtera Announces Combined CMOS, Optical Chip

Carlsbad-based Luxtera today announced that it has created a CMOS-based, high speed chip which provides high speed, 10Gbit/sec optical photonics interfaces. The new chip is the first time a company has been able to combine the complexity of optical communications lasers with standard CMOS electronic components, and promises to dramatically lower the cost of high speed networking. Traditionally, optical communications lasers and other products have been a major cost components and inhibitor of optical networking; the combination of these components on a high volume CMOS process is a breakthrough. Luxtera said that it would be shipping its chip in 2006. The startup, a spinoff of Caltech, leverages a CMOS process from Freescale Semiconductor but integrates 10G photonics capability into the silicon. The chip puts the startup squarely up against chip giant Intel, which is also looking to combine CMOS capability with 10Gbit/sec capability, but has yet to announce its products. Luxtera is backed by Sevin Rosen, August Capital, and New Enterprise Associate


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