Intel Flees Optical Market With Emcore Deal

Intel’s sale to Emcore of the enterprise and storage assets of its optical platform division, along with its high-performance computing cables business, is the second deal of its kind between the two companies. Intel in December closed on an $85 million sale of the telecom assets from the optical platform division to Emcore.

Apparently Emcore is working to turn Intel’s trash and into treasure, expecting margins of 50 percent on the cabling business and sales of $45 million in the coming year from the enterprise optical platform. Intel got into the optics business in the 1990s in an effort to branch out beyond x86 processors. In 2006, it retrenched and began the process of getting out of optics (and at the same time, the cell-phone radio business). This particular deal leaves Intel with few optical holdings, but it will continue to invest in R&D related to silicon photonics.