Microwave Journal
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POET Technologies bolsters strength of balance sheet and sets product direction

October 5, 2015

POET Technologies Inc. developer of monolithically integrated opto-electronics fabrication processes (the “POET technology”), announced that it has strengthened its unencumbered balance sheet and accelerated its lab-to-fab commercialization initiative in expectation of delivering its first prototypes in calendar 2016. “We start tomorrow’s new quarter with a significantly strengthened balance sheet – with $20.5 million in cash, with only small operational liabilities” said executive co-chairman Peter Copetti in an operations update for investors. “We expect these funds to provide about eight quarters of development runway, beyond the point of demonstrating working prototypes within the next year,” added executive co-chairman Ajit Manocha.

Module-On-A-Chip: The Smart Industry Standard

The company said it is poised to roll out a monolithic opto-electronics process platform that enables unprecedented improvements in energy efficiency, component cost and size in the production of smart optical components, driving applications ranging from data centers to consumer products.

“The company’s patented module-on-a-chip process, which integrates digital, high-speed analog and optical devices on the same chip, is designed to be the next industry standard for smart optical components fabrication,” said Ajit Manocha. “By adding electronics functionality to optics – lasers, detectors, IR sensors — POET powers ‘smart’ opto-electronic devices that demonstrate step-function improvements in low power performance, cost and size.  Specifically applied to short reach VCSEL based transceivers for example, POET could enable up to 10X improvements in power consumption, component cost, and form factor,” added the company’s chief executive officer Dr. Suresh Venkatesan.

“Put simply, that means we make what’s on a wafer up to 10 times more energy efficient, 10 times cheaper and more than 10 times smaller,” said Dr. Venkatesan. “And we believe we are the only company that could achieve this level of disruption.”

Performance of Light at the cost of Copper

Among the Company’s most differentiated value propositions in the marketplace is that the POET technology platform enables the power of optical communications at potentially similar price points to copper. 

“Advances in silicon technology enable hugely efficient computational efficiencies, said Dr. Venkatesan.  “A single computation, for example, can be completed at fractions of pico-joules of energy.  However, transmitting or communicating this piece of information over traditional copper interconnects can consume up to 100 times that energy.  While optics can dramatically lower power consumption, we haven’t seen any optical solution that has yet been cost-competitive with copper interconnects.  The POET platform, when implemented, could change that – thus creating a discontinuity in traditional learning curves.  We are providing a truly disruptive technology solution.”

Large-Market Focus, Proven Business Model and Facilities Transition Proceeding Ahead of Plan

The company indicated that its initial market focus is short reach and very short reach data communications, a massive and particularly high-growth sector whose most acute pain points often revolve around power management within data centers. The POET platform may subsequently be applicable to smart optical products with applications ranging from high-reliability defense, aerospace and energy applications to more common consumer devices.

Dr. Venkatesan said that the company’s business model is expected to include a long-proven mixture of product sales and licensing; organic growth and acquisition; and direct and indirect sales. The Company also expects to go to market primarily with partners –both in sales and manufacturing. Typifying the latter is the Company’s recent VCSEL Manufacturing Services Agreement with a commercial foundry.

“Our partnerships bring scalable manufacturing and custom VCSEL foundry capabilities that we need to accelerate our lab-to-fab migration,” said Dr. Venkatesan.  “We are on-plan to begin transferring our proprietary technology in this year’s Q4, which begins tomorrow – as well as to demonstrate integrated VCSEL prototypes in the second quarter of 2016.”

Additionally, the company reported that it is ahead-of-plan in consolidating its Toronto-Connecticut-San Jose footprint and bringing the bulk of its operations to Silicon Valley in the Fourth Quarter of 2015.  We expect to complete the consolidation in Q1 2016. The company said that the move is expected to result in insignificant one-time charges.

The company noted that its report today was a general overview of its in-process operational initiative.  A more granular overview is expected as the Company enters the 2016 calendar year.

Visit the company’s website at www.poet-technologies.com.