Intel spins out telecom portion of optical-networking group

Emcore is picking up some telecommunications technology from Intel for $85 million, as Intel refocuses on its core products.

Intel continues to move further and further away from its communications experiments as it refocuses on the things it does best.

The company agreed to sell the telecommunications portion of its Optical Platform Division to Emcore, a chipmaker for the telecom industry, for $85 million. This includes a bunch of technology that doesn't really fit into Intel's historical strengths, such as tunable lasers for telecom products.

At one point, Intel thought communications chips would be the answer to the company's search for growth outside the PC and server industries, but those days have long since passed. Intel has been steadily selling communications portions of its business since the middle of last year, and the Emcore deal represents another of those moves.

A company representative clarified that this deal does not involve Intel's work on silicon photonics or on-chip optical interconnects, as those projects remain within the Intel domain. Intel also said that it's "currently exploring strategic alternatives" for other parts of its Optical Platform Division, which generally translates to "looking for someone willing to pay a pretty penny for stuff we don't want" in press-release speak.

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