Anova takes small slice of failing AOptix

Free-space optics vendor crashes, burns

Free-space optics vendor AOptix is reportedly on skid row, with Anova Technologies catching part of the company on the way down.

The company's ULL3000 "ultra-low latency division" will become part of Anova, and in a media release the buyer says it will retain "core employees" at AOptix's Silicon Valley campus.

AOptix is one of a cohort of companies targeting stock exchange comms with low-latency products that attach to high-frequency trading platforms. Free-space optics (and high-capacity microwave links) are pitched to that market as slicing a few nanoseconds off the latency of a short-haul fiber connection.

LightReading notes that AOptix was founded just before the telco crash of the early 2000s, but kept itself afloat on the back of military contracts. It's been funded to the tune of about US$150 million over its 16 year life.

Whatever happens to the company's remaining IP, LightReading says its headquarters in Campbell, California, is going on the auction block, and most of its staff have been laid off.

Anova Tech hasn't said how much it paid for the ULL3000 division, but the acquisition will bring with it an unspecified amount of inventory, service and support know-how, and "critical piece parts/testing components" so customer deployments aren't interrupted.

Anova Tech's media release says the acquisition will give it a "multi-gigabit" platform backed by engineers in optics, FPGA, and RF design.

Given that vendors like AOptix are closely associated with stock markets that are currently taking a hammering, The Register expects more blood to flow in the high-frequency trading sector. ®

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