Calient raises $27M to move more photonics switches into data centers

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Calient, an optical-switch vendor, said Wednesday it has picked up $27 million in new funding. The money will help the company extend its product line and pay for a boost in production.

Investors for the round were not disclosed, although TeleSoft Partners names the company in its investment portfolio. To date, the company has raised at least $47.5 million, according to a spokesman.

Optics are quite fast — they send data at the speed of light — and cheaper and consume less energy than ethernet. Facebook has shown lots of interest in silicon photonics for use in its own data centers, and optical routing and photonics chips themselves are hot areas, too.

Based in Santa Barbara, Calif., Calient also announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer, Jag Setlur. He was previously CFO and chief operating officer at July Systems, and before that he was CFO at Cotendo, where he helped set up its acquisition by Akamai.

Calient would not name customers. In March, the company showed how its optical circuit switch can integrate nicely with Plexxi’s Ethernet switch with optical multiplexing. Meanwhile the company has moved to support OpenFlow on its S320 optical switch.

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