NeoPhotonics Corporation

Company Background

NeoPhotonics Corporation is a developer and vertically integrated manufacturer of photonic integrated circuit (PIC) based components, modules and subsystems for use in telecommunications networks. Their products include active semiconductor, passive PIC and MEMS multi-dimensional switching functions in a single product. This integration is enabled by nano-materials and nano-scale design and fabrication technologies. The company is a leading provider of optical components, modules and subsystems that enable the delivery of video, voice and data over telecommunications and cable TV networks.  NeoPhotonics maintains headquarters in San Jose, California and ISO 9001:2000 certified engineering and manufacturing facilities in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen, China (1a).

The company acquired Santur for $39.2 million in 2011. Santur manufactured tunable laser arrays for metropolitan and long-haul multiplexing systems for telecom networks, and PIC's based on indium phosphide. NeoPhotonics integrated Santur's complementary technology into its own products in an effort to tap new markets for optical networking gear driven by the growth of data centers (2).

Suppliers and Buyers

NeoPhotonics  makes more than half of its sales in China.  The company's top client is China-based communications equipment maker Huawei (which accounts for nearly half of sales); its other key customers include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and ZTE. NeoPhotonics' top 10 clients together account for nearly 90% of sales. This percentage has crept up in recent years making the company increasingly reliant upon a limited number of clients to sustain its revenue growth (2).

Strategic Partnerships

NeoPhotonics received more than $200 million in private equity funding from such investors as Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Harris & Harris Group, International Finance Corp., Institutional Venture Partners, Oak Investment Partners, prior to its IPO in 2011 (2).

In 2012, NeoPhotonics raised $40 million through a strategic investment from Rusnano.  Rusnano's Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov has also been appointed to the NeoPhotonics board of directors.

NeoPhotonics is planning to build R&D facilities in Russia. The company expects to use a portion of the net proceeds for general corporate purposes as well as to establish design and production capabilities in Russia. The expansion in Russia is expected to be completed by July 31, 2014 (3).

Innovation and Technology

NeoPhotonics have developed extensive expertise in the design, large-scale fabrication, high-volume module manufacturing and commercial deployment of our PIC products and technologies. The process of designing and manufacturing PICs in high volume with predictable, well-characterized performance and low manufacturing costs is complex and multi-faceted. In addition, through precise fabrication and positioning of physical features, NeoPhotonics integrates PIC devices fabricated on separate wafers out of different materials, matching the material to the function to improve performance attributes and reduce production costs. NeoPhotonics’ hybrid integration allows it to integrate active devices, such as lasers and photodiodes, with high-performance passive devices, such as switches, routers and filters, to provide the desired network functions on a single PIC.  NeoPhotonics also sells its products as modules and subsystems which contain electronic hardware and firmware control that can be interfaced directly with customer systems. NeoPhotonics designs the electronic hardware and develops the firmware to integrate these with NeoPhotonics’ optical products to meet customer specifications (1b).

NeoPhotonics believes that their vertically integrated manufacturing strategy, which extends from wafer fabrication through module and subsystem assembly and test, provides a sustainable competitive advantage in their industry. Manufacturing of their modules and subsystems is highly complex, utilizing extensive know-how in multiple disciplines and accumulated knowledge of manufacturing processes and equipment. NeoPhotonics vertically integrated manufacturing operations reduce the time required to develop, test and produce new products and configurations and enables higher performance, consistency and reliability. NeoPhotonics has developed proprietary testing methodologies that also help decrease development times, enabling NeoPhotonics to introduce products to the market more quickly (1b).


  • Photonic integrated circuits (PICs)
  • Amplifiers
  • Glass substrates
  • Laser modules
  • Passive optical components
  • Photodiodes
  • Transceivers
  • Chips (2).

For more information, see the NeoPhotonics location page.


  1. NeoPhotonics Corporation (2012). Retrieved on November 8, 2012
    1. “About NeoPhotonics” from
    2. “Technology” from
  2. Hoover’s, Inc. (2012). “NeoPhotonics Corporation.” Retrieved on November 8, 2012.
  3. Business Journal (2012, April 30). “NeoPhotonics raises $40M strategic investment from Rusnano.” Retrieved on November 8, 2012 from