Intel Sheds Optical Communications Assets, Selling to Emcore

Intel shed more of its optical business assets on Thursday, selling the enterprise and storage assets of the unit to semiconductor company Emcore.

The technology Emcore will get from Intel includes optical transceivers and optical cable interconnects. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. Emcore will issue 3.7 million shares of restricted stock to Intel in exchange, with price adjustments at a later date.

Intel has slowly been selling off its optical business assets. Last year Emcore bought telecom-related assets from Intel's optical division, including technology related to tunable lasers and transponders from Intel's business unit.

The sale will allow Intel to focus its efforts on core assets in the communications and embedded market segments, Intel said. The company will also continue to focus on developing the USB (Universal Serial Bus) 3.0 specification, which will support optical and silicon photonics research and development.

Emcore, which is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, estimated it will add US$45 million in revenue over the next 12 months as a result of the acquisition, the company said in a statement.

The acquisition comes just a few days after Emcore's board authorized a plan to separate the companies' fiber optics and photovoltaic businesses into separate corporations. Photovoltaic equipment, like solar power cells, converts light directly to electricity.

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