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Intel Acquires West Bay Semi for Optical

Intel Tuesday said it has inked a deal to acquire the assets of West Bay Semiconductor, based in Vancouver, Canada.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said the cash-for-assets transaction expands its portfolio of networking chips running at speeds of 2.5 Gbps and lower. Specific financial details were not disclosed. West Bay's product line is targeted at the metropolitan core, edge and access optical networks.

Most of West Bay Semiconductor's employees will join the Intel Optical Products Group (OPG). OPG is part of the Intel Communications Group, which designs and makes opto-electronic components and optical subsystems for telecommunications firms including the long-haul core, metropolitan and enterprise market segments.

"Combining West Bay Semiconductor's technology with our advanced manufacturing processes should provide substantial benefits to our customers," said Intel Communications Group vice president Gordon Hunter said in a statement. "[This] is another example of how Intel continues to strategically invest in the optical networking segment through a combination of acquisitions, internal development and manufacturing improvements."

Currently, Intel has a product line of networking chips running at 10 Gbps and optical transceivers. The company said the acquisition will let Intel offer system vendors a single architecture and software platform to use in designing and building telecom equipment.

West Bay Semiconductor's product line includes transport framers and data mappers that allow for next-generation SONET/SDH and Ethernet over SONET/SDH (EoS) applications running at speeds of up to 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps). In addition, West Bay said it is developing next-generation deeply channelized bandwidth management technologies that enable simultaneous, real-time processing of thousands of voice and data streams.

The company says better use of bandwidth and transport of data protocols over installed fiber has the opportunity to help service providers get more subscribers onto their existing network infrastructure.

In future products, Intel said it will combine West Bay's architecture and design with its 90-nanometer (nm) silicon manufacturing process.