For first-quarter 2017, POET Technologies Inc of San Jose, CA, USA — which has developed the proprietary planar optoelectronic technology (POET) platform for monolithic fabrication of integrated III-V-based electronic and optical devices on a single semiconductor wafer — has reported revenue of US$712,600. This is up 65% on US$423,500 last quarter, due mainly to backlog from last quarter being shipped in Q1/2017 as well as non-recurring engineering (NRE) revenue of US$80,000. Revenue in both first-quarter 2017 and last quarter reflected the sale of photonic sensors (primarily for test & measurement applications) from Singapore-based subsidiary DenseLight Semiconductor Pte Ltd (acquired in May).
Gross margin improved to 41%, compared with a negative 10% last quarter, as higher sales and NRE revenue allowed for better absorption of factory costs.
Net loss was US$3.5m ($0.01 per share), up from US$3m ($0.01 per share) a year ago. The loss included non-cash stock-based compensation of $894,813 and depreciation & amortization of $540,393, compared to $1,259,051 and $87,844 respectively a year ago.
During the quarter, cash and short-term investments fell from US$14.9m to US$11.7m.
“Results reflect our recent streamlining and realignment of the consolidated business, which was a meaningful contributor to the sequential improvement in our top-line results and gross margin,” says CEO Dr Suresh Venkatesan. “Since announcing our successful demonstration of a functional vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) for our integrated gallium arsenide (GaAs) optoelectronic platform in early April, we have continued to make progress on performance optimization as part of our development effort to create a single-chip transceiver optical engine for the short-reach active optical cable (AOC) market. The current market size for GaAs-based AOCs is $339m, growing to $779m by 2021, according to a recent report from LightCounting. The expected growth is the result of major cloud-based data-center operators committing to AOCs because of the higher cost associated with the power consumption of copper-based cables,” he adds.
“Additionally, we are enthusiastic about the development of our hybrid integration platform, which utilizes a combination of indium phosphide (InP) technology and dielectric waveguide devices in a single package,” continues Venkatesan. “By leveraging this approach, we are able to target additional high-growth markets within data communications. This Dielectric Photonics approach eliminates the need for active alignment and other expensive packaging elements and enables significantly lower-cost solutions for medium-reach applications.” Industry reports, including those from LightCounting and Oculi LLC, estimate that the 100-400G optical transceiver market is growing from about $2.5bn in 2016 to over $7.5bn by 2021, notes POET. “In addition to addressing this substantially larger market opportunity with our integrated optical engine, we believe our product roadmap also provides the flexibility to sell active and passive discrete components across the broader data communications market,” says Venkatesan. “Looking forward, product development and commercialization based on this new hybrid approach as well as further advancement of our monolithic integration technology will continue to be the company’s highest priority for 2017 and beyond.”