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Cisco Gains New Silicon Photonics Capabilities with $660M Acquisition of Luxtera

Cisco looks to improve and accelerate network performance with integrated optics capabilities.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Dec 18, 2018
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Cisco announced on December 18 that it intends to acquire privately-held networking vendor Luxtera for $660 million in cash.

Luxtera is a silicon photonics vendor, which provides optical technologies that are used in networking interconnect solutions. Luxtera's products include silicon photonics optical transceivers, including 100 gigabit optical QSFP modules as well as the OptoPHY embedded optical transceiver.

Luxtera was founded in 2001, and had raised approximately $130.7 million in funding. Cisco expects the deal to close in the third quarter of its fiscal 2019 year.

"With Cisco's 2018 Visual Networking Index projecting that global Internet traffic will increase threefold over the next five years, our customers are facing an exponential demand for Internet bandwidth. Optics is a fundamental technology to enable this future," David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager, Networking and Security Business at Cisco, wrote in a media advisory. "Coupled with our silicon and optics innovation, Luxtera will allow our customers to build the biggest, fastest and most efficient networks in the world."

When the deal closes, Luxtera's employees will become part of the Cisco Optics business, which is run by Goeckeler. Cisco will be incorporating the Luxtera technology into its 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 400 GbE portfolio of products, which has been expanding over the course of 2018. Cisco announced a series of new switches last month to help further enable 100 and 400 GbE networks, including the Nexus 3432 and 9316D-GX platforms.

Rob Salvagno, Head of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments, commented that a lot of the focus in recent years has been on Cisco's software transition, including the company's Intent-based networking efforts. Salvagno emphasized that for Cisco, hardware and software innovation go hand in hand.

"It goes without saying that world-class hardware, coupled with our investment in silicon and optics, is at the heart of our Intent-Based Networking strategy, enabling networking and security at scale powered by analytics," Salvago said.

Luxtera Products

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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