SAN JOSE, Calif. – February 24, 2012 – Cisco today announced its intent to acquire privately held Lightwire, Inc. Headquartered in Allentown, Penn., with offices in Santa Clara, Calif., Lightwire develops advanced optical interconnect technology for high-speed networking applications. The acquisition will allow Cisco to deliver cost-effective, high-speed networks with the next generation of optical connectivity, allowing service provider and data center customers to meet the growing demands of video, data, voice, mobility and cloud services.
Silicon (CMOS) photonics technology is expected to play a significant role in the enablement of high-speed networks. With expertise in CMOS photonics and packaging design, Lightwire has made innovations in optical interconnects by integrating multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a small silicon chip. The smaller size, lower power consumption and scalability of Lightwire's CMOS-based technology enable switches, routers and optical transport systems to have higher-density optical connectivity at a lower cost, allowing carriers to further reduce their operational and capital costs and offer new revenue-generating services.
"The acquisition of Lightwire will support our data center and service provider customers as they manage the continuing deluge of network traffic alongside tight capital and operating budgets," said Surya Panditi, senior vice president, Cisco Service Provider Networking Group. "With the combined know-how from Cisco in silicon design and Lightwire in CMOS photonics, we will transform Cisco's optical connectivity business to an integrated technology platform that supports our customers' burgeoning need for cost-effective high-speed networks."
"Acquiring Lightwire's advanced technology exemplifies Cisco's build, buy, and partner innovation model and supports our focus on driving market leadership in core networking, one of Cisco's five strategic priorities," said Ned Hooper, Cisco's chief strategy officer. "The Lightwire acquisition builds on Cisco's existing optical networking expertise and complements Cisco's 2010 acquisition of CoreOptics, a designer of coherent digital signal-processing solutions and application-specific integrated circuits for high-speed optical networking applications."
Upon the close of the acquisition, Lightwire employees will be integrated into Cisco's Transceiver Modules Group Business Unit and Supply Chain Operations Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $271 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of Lightwire. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the third quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2012.