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OneChip Photonics Nets $19M
Mar 2009
OTTAWA, March 19, 2009 – Optical transceivers startup OneChip Photonics of Ottawa announced this week that it has secured $19.5 million in venture capital financing from Canadian and US investors. The funding will enable the company to market its integrated fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) transceiver technology.

Most current FTTH transceiver providers base their transceivers on either discrete optics or planar lightwave circuits (PLCs), designs that offer low levels of integration and require assembly from multiple parts. Because there is little difference technically between these parts, vendors compete on the basis of who can assemble the parts for a cheaper price. And there is little “wiggle room” to further reduce such costs.

OneChip Photonics monolithically integrates all the functions required for an optical transceiver onto a single, indium phosphide (InP)-based chip. All active and passive components of the chip – including the distributed-feedback (DFB) laser, optically preamplified detector, wavelength splitter, spot-size converter and various elements of passive waveguide circuitry – are uniquely integrated in one epitaxial growth step, without regrowth or postgrowth modification of the epitaxial material.

The resulting small-footprint photonic integrated circuits-based chip provides better performance at a significantly lower cost than current technologies, OneChip said.

OneChip said it believes that its approach and technology will strengthen the business case for broader deployment of FTTH worldwide and enable the company to claim a significant share of the FTTx (fiber to the x) optical transceiver market – one that market analyst and consulting firm Ovum estimates will grow from $387 million by the end of 2009 to $594 million by the end of 2013.

“OneChip is well positioned to help system providers and carriers deploy FTTH more cost-effectively than ever before – and meet consumer and business demand for high-bandwidth voice, data and video services,” said Jim Hjartarson, CEO of OneChip Photonics. “OneChip is one of only a few companies with new core intellectual property and advanced technology in the optical transceiver business that can sustain a competitive advantage over other optical component providers, which rely on conventional technology and assembly processes.”

OneChip said it is poised to introduce its technology to high-volume business and consumer markets outside of traditional telecommunications.

Participating in the financing were Canada-based venture capital funders BDC Venture Capital and GrowthWorks Canadian Fund, and US-based DCM and Morgenthaler Ventures.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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