Compass-EOS unveils innovative silicon photonics router
Mar 13, 2013 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
After many years of jealously guarding its secrets, investments of nearly $120 million, and association with several big IT names, Compass-EOS has moved out of the shadows. The company has launched a family of routers, which it bills as the world's first commercial chip-to-chip direct silicon-to-photonics implementation. This is an impressive achievement although the amount invested in the start up still has to be justified. The new router for telecom providers is the first application for Compass-EOS's photonics technology.
Compass-EOS was founded in 2006 by president Michael Laor and chief scientist Dr. Michael Mesh and on the board of directors is former NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE: NICE) CEO and finance ministry director general Haim Shani, who serves as chairman, and former Cisco Systems SVP CTO Ed Kozel. The amount of money raised by Compass-EOS is reminiscent of optics communications equipment companies from the late 1990s, although the company is more stable and claims to have customers.
Venture capital investors include Pitango Venture Capital, Benchmark Capital, North Bridge, and Singapore's Crescent Point. Strategic investors include Cisco, T-Venture, the investment arm of Deutsche Telekom, and US cable giant Comcast.
The photonics routers developed by Compass-EOS are designed to transfer large-scale data to network cores or data centers with greater efficiency and using less energy than standard routers.
The company has 150 employees and is based in Netanya but has yet to reveal the names of its customers. Its technology -- silicon photonics -- deals with one of the great dilemmas of the communications equipment sector -- how to integrate the ability to transfer data using laser beams on the back of silicon chips instead of copper bands. The technology and product were developed in collaboration with academia.
Compass-EOS may be the first company in the market to develop such a solution but it is competing with heavyweight rivals such as Intel, IBM and even Cisco, which acquired Lightwire, a company in this sector, 18 months ago. Cisco's investment in Compass-EOS itself could also provide continuity for the company as one of its founders, Laor, was formerly manager of Cisco's Israel Development Center.
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