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AraLight, Inc., New Venture From Lucent Technologies, to Offer High-Bandwidth Optoelectronic Devices for Internet Switches.

Business Editors

ANAHEIM, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 19, 2001

Optical Networking Startup Receives $10 Million Investment From Signal

Lake Ventures, Ridgewood Capital and Solar Venture Partners

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) today announced a new venture, AraLight, Inc., that will design and manufacture high-bandwidth, ultra-dense optoelectronic modules for use by manufacturers of Internet infrastructure equipment.

AraLight's high-capacity, multi-channel devices are designed to solve short-reach interconnect bottlenecks both between, and within, the equipment used for switching and routing Internet traffic.

Announced here at the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC), AraLight is using Bell Labs technology to create devices that will enable Internet equipment suppliers to build terabit (trillion bits/second) systems with only one-tenth the size and power consumption of present optoelectronic switching systems.

In its labs, AraLight has already demonstrated devices with over 500 gigabits/second (billion bits/second) of data throughput on a single chip module.

Created by Lucent's New Ventures Group, AraLight has received investments totaling $10 million from Signal Lake Ventures, Ridgewood Capital, and Solar Venture Partners.

AraLight's proprietary technology integrates thousands of photonic components made with gallium arsenide, such as vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), modulators, and detectors, with silicon integrated circuits containing millions of transistors. The resulting thumbnail-sized optoelectronic module will be able to handle hundreds or thousands of direct optical inputs and outputs required for switching and routing terabit traffic in future communications networks.

The AraLight team collectively has more than 75 patented inventions, developed in Bell Labs, in the areas of optoelectronic integration, optical device design and applications, optical packaging, and high-speed VLSI (very large scale integration) circuit design.

"With more and more wavelengths of light being carried on a single fiber, optical equipment manufacturers need to provide more ports to switch and route optical signals," said Tom Uhlman, president of Lucent's New Ventures Group. "AraLight's advanced high-bandwidth modules will enable manufacturers to build systems that put more devices and ports on circuit boards used in routers, switches and other high bandwidth equipment. We expect that users will see lower costs through smaller space and power requirements."

ElectroniCast Corp. predicts the market for internal optical interconnect modules will reach $900 million by 2003.

AraLight uses a proprietary, "microbump" flip-chip bonding and substrate removal process developed by Bell Labs to directly attach thousands of lasers and detectors on gallium arsenide chips to the surface of prefabricated silicon chips. Optoelectronic modules and switching chips produced with this technique are smaller and have higher channel counts, lower cost and lower power consumption than devices built with all-electronic or all-optical techniques.

"We expect our higher port densities and smaller form factor will eventually allow us to develop products with aggregate speeds of many terabits per second, all in a single compact package," said Michael Camp, chief executive officer of AraLight. Camp had previously been CEO of Tech-Sym (NYSE: TSY) and CEO of Tangram Systems. Camp had previously also been a vp/general manager at Nortel Networks.

AraLight's chief technical officer and co-founder, Dr. Ashok Krishnamoorthy, led pioneering research and development in the field of optoelectronic VLSI circuit design for eight years at Bell Labs. He has been granted 20 United States patents in the field, with 15 pending.

"Several other Bell Labs researchers have joined the AraLight team," said Krishnamoorthy. "In the last decade Bell Labs has invested more than 100 person-years in developing this optoelectronic integration technology. Our technical and management team has the experience to move this technology to market."

AraLight is located in Monroe Township, N.J., with lab space, a clean room and light manufacturing capabilities. The venture's management team has extensive optoelectronic experience, including work at Nortel, AMP/Tyco, and Lucent. Its technical team excels in optoelectronic integration, optical device packaging, optical device and VLSI design, and low cost manufacturing technology. More information is available at www.aralight.com.

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, designs and delivers the systems, software, silicon and services for next-generation communications networks for service providers and enterprises. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent focuses on high-growth areas such as optical and wireless networks; Internet infrastructure; communications software; communications semiconductors and optoelectronics; Web-based enterprise solutions that link private and public networks; and professional network design and consulting services. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its Web site at http://www.lucent.com.

Note to editors: Color or B&W photos of CTO Ashok Krishnamoothy in a photonics lab, or a portrait shot of CEO Michael Camp, are available by e-mail by calling Charlstie Laytin, 646-254-7723.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 19, 2001
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