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Jun 6th, 2013
 
Mellanox deal to buy IPtronics increases focus on optical interconnects
 
Venture-backed Danish company is set to join silicon photonics specialist Kotura under Mellanox's wing.
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Mellanox Technologies, the Nasdaq-listed provider of interconnects for servers and storage systems, has committed further to next-generation technologies based on optics.

The company, which is in the process of acquiring the silicon photonics specialist Kotura for $82 million, has now agreed to buy Denmark-based IPtronics for just under $50 million in cash. IPtronics, whose board of directors – along with that of Mellanox – has unanimously approved the deal, is a fabless provider of chips used in parallel optical interconnects, such as high-speed VCSEL drivers. It has offices in Copenhagen and Menlo Park, California, and has previously raised some $16 million in venture capital.

Following the Kotura announcement just a couple of weeks ago, the move to acquire IPtronics gives Mellanox further technological support for the transition to 100 Gb/s optical interconnects, whether based on silicon photonics or more conventional approaches. As with the Kotura deal, this latest transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2013, subject to the completion of certain closing conditions. IPtronics products already feature in Mellanox’s current interconnect products, and Mellanox says that it will be better placed to offer a complete range of next-generation optical connectivity for data center customers to meet growing network traffic demands.

Specifically, IPtronics sells multichannel VCSEL driver, modulator driver and transimpedance amplifier chips, with Mellanox stressing the benefits of “significantly” lower power consumption and lower costs compared with existing products.

The company explained: “The technology Mellanox will acquire bridges the gap between optical and electrical interfaces and enables system providers to overcome the physical constraints of using copper-based connections in high-speed interfaces and backplanes.


 
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