Intel buys optical networking chip company

Intel plans to bolster its optical networking processor lineup with the purchase of West Bay Semiconductor, the company announced Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal, a cash transaction, were not disclosed, Intel said. West Bay designs networking processors that transmit voice and data signals over SONET/SDH (Synchronous Optical Networking/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) networks, Intel said.

The chips are designed for products that use SONET/SDH applications running at 2.5G bps (bits per second) or less, and will be incorporated into Intel's product line for that segment of the market, the company said. Intel will use West Bay's technology to build networking chips on its 90-nanometer process technology, which is expected to be up and running with the release of the Prescott desktop processor later this year, it said.

Intel plans to assimilate most of West Bay's employees into Intel's Optical Products Group, the company said. An Intel representative did not immediately respond to inquiries about the status of the remaining West Bay employees. West Bay is based in Vancouver.

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