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4 March 2019

Rockley extends strategic partnership with Hengtong, expanding joint venture

Rockley Photonics of Pasadena, CA, USA (formed in 2013 to develop a silicon photonics platform for optical I/O in next-generation sensor systems and communications networks) has expanded its strategic relationship with Shanghai stock-exchange listed Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd. The Suzhou-based joint venture with Hengtong addresses the burgeoning 400G DR4 transceiver market. As part of the deal, Hengtong will invest $30m in Rockley’s Series E funding round.

Rockley-Hengtong is expanding its 2017 joint venture, increasing its portfolio to develop, manufacture and sell 400G DR4 transceivers utilizing Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engines. “This new funding provides us with significant capital to move to the next stage of our business plan,” says Rockley’s chief finance officer Mahesh Karanth. “We will accelerate volume manufacturing of Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engine and develop next-generation sensors and communications products,” he adds. “Our technology will help to meet the new connectivity requirements for data centers, supporting cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.”

Emerging applications like AI, machine learning, AR/VR and 5G wireless are driving network traffic to unprecedented levels, notes Rockley. As bandwidth requirements increase, data centers are looking to deploy higher switching capacity. Rockley says that the architecture of its LightDriver facilitates the transition to in-package optics for 51T switches and drives a broad spectrum of connectivity products including 400G and 800G pluggables, which are required for the large-scale deployment of 12.8T and 25.6T switches, enabling data centers to adopt fiber-to-the-server and eliminate the need for costly, high-power electrical signaling.

“The LightDriver is the world’s first 400G engine supporting 1310nm on a fully integrated, optimized waveguide platform,” says chairman & CEO Andrew Rickman. “Its tight integration with electronics enabled by advanced 2.5D packaging is key to facilitating the high bandwidth and dense optical I/O required by increasing network traffic. The LightDriver technology in our chipsets is important for data centers wishing to improve performance while reducing power and costs,” he adds.

“Combining Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engine and our fully integrated silicon photonics platform with Hengtong’s world-leading manufacturing capability will deliver the lowest-power and most cost-effective transceiver in the market,” Rickman continues. “It is a significant step towards furthering our mission to make photonics as pervasive as microelectronics.”

See related items:

Rockley completes silicon photonics platform in large-scale foundry environment

Tags:  Silicon photonics

Visit:  www.rockleyphotonics.com

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