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Cortina Acquires Immenstar

Cortina has agreed to acquire Immenstar. I’ve written about both companies extensively (See here and here).

This acquisition is surprising. Cortina previously focused more on the core of the network and has either built or acquired products designed to enable the next generation of WAN equipment for carrier applications. Immenstar is tightly focused on fiber to the home chipsets, a much more access oriented application. I suspect that Cortina is looking to couple it’s carrier class ethernet solutions with Immenstar’s high density OLT solution. Still, it is not a pretty fit.

Immenstar is a hybrid Chinese-American company with strong ties to UT Starcom, a company that at one point was poised to supply NTT (NTT) with large amounts of FTTH equipment. They stumbled (or were tripped by Passave, now owned by PMC-Sierra (PMCS) ) and Mitsubishi Electric took the majority of the lucrative and prestigious NTT contracts. As a result, Immenstar has not been tremendously successful in the marketplace. I suspect that this acquisition was Immenstar’s only option.

Cortina is one of the more interesting startups out there today, and appear to be pursuing a strategy of strategically integrating underperforming assets acquired from both public and private companies with a goal of consolidation. This is a core Nyquist strategy.

It’s unfortunate that companies like Centillium (CTLM) are not actively engaged in attempting to sell their own FTTH assets. As an owner of Centilluim equity I find this extremely frustrating. It’s clear that Cortina would have been an interested suitor.

Hat Tip: Venturebeat

Author is a Centillium stockholder


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  1. A reasonable guess is:
    to play end-to-end for telecom;
    enter access just for a growth story toward IPO.

    Posted by Frank | February 28, 2007, 1:31 AM
  2. Anyone know what Cortina paid for Immenstar?

    Posted by SBOY | March 1, 2007, 2:12 AM
  3. Hey Andrew,

    Whats your take on EPON v/s GPON for APAC? It seems like GPON is surety for US, likely for Europe.

    In general, I cant believe ASSP for PON OLT can make business case even in the world of 90nm (forget 65nm or 45nm) – four port chip makes it even worse (in terms of potential volume).


    Posted by five_whys | March 6, 2007, 10:09 AM
  4. Read my 5-part series of PON in China. I lay out my strong opinions in detail there. Basically, I think APAC will go almost 100% GEPON.

    There is no business case for OLT unless you win the ONU business or the Ethernet/L2 processing stuff. Immenstar does both ONU and OLT. If I had a PON chip company, I’d put the OLT and ONU on the same die reticle and hope I get it right.

    Posted by Andrew Schmitt | March 6, 2007, 10:18 AM
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  6. FTTHblog » Cortina Acquires Immenstar | February 27, 2007, 3:44 PM
  7. Centillium - Next on Someone’s Shopping List? at Nyquist Capital | March 22, 2007, 8:59 AM