Arasor acquires the Bandwidth Foundry to increase local R&D

Government support to continue

Optical chip developer and manufacturer Arasor International Ltd has acquired the Bandwidth Foundry to increase R&D and production in Australia.

The Bandwidth Foundry is a Sydney-based photonics manufacturing technology development centre which was founded in 2002 and funded under the federal government's Major National Research Facility program (MNRF).

Arasor paid $600,000 for the foundry which will continue to receive support from both the federal and NSW governments.

The foundry facilitates photonics innovation and commercialisation by providing prototyping facilities and services to developers of photonic integrated circuits.

In addition, the highly skilled team specialises in photolithography foundry services including photo mask production and direct laser writing of optical materials which are central to realising Arasor's research and commercialisation goals.

Acquiring the foundry gives Arasor immediate access to an excellent R&D facility in Australia that is already generating revenue at a fraction of the cost of establishing a mask making facility from scratch.

To establish a similar fully functional facility complete with an operational team would cost in excess of $7million.

In addition the foundry has significant patented IP, local and overseas multi-national clients and is near break even.

Arasor managing director, Dr Larry Marshall said the plan was always to increase its presence in Australia and to tap into local R&D talent which is among the most highly qualified in the world.

"It also enables us to work even more closely with Macquarie University in terms of R&D and the commercialisation of optoelectronic technology," Marshall said.

Arasor's Australian managing director, Scott Wilkie, said the deal allows the company to producre smaller chips, which will significantly reduce the cost of production ultimately improving margins.

The managing director of the foundry, Dr Ian Mann, agrees adding the deal is a great solution for both parties.

"We look forward to being able to build on the solid foundation we have already established, and with the extra resources and experience Arasor can bring we will go from strength to strength," Mann said.

Arasor completed a successful IPO in October 2006 and is a manufacturer of optical chip technologies that enable the delivery of greater bandwidth and richer content.

The company provides solutions to a global customer base operating in the optical networking, wireless communications, and emerging laser-based display industries.

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