10 September 2020
Rockley listed among top 10 British tech companies to watch
Rockley Photonics of Pasadena, CA, USA (formed in 2013 to develop a versatile, application-specific silicon photonics platform for optical integration in next-generation sensor systems and communications networks) has been listed in The Sunday Times’ ‘10 Tech Ones to Watch’ list for 2020, which identifies promising private British tech companies from a cross-section of industries that are well positioned to grow rapidly.
Rockley was formed in 2013 by a management team that has previously had success with two silicon photonics companies. Founder & CEO Andrew Rickman founded the first firm to commercialize silicon photonics, Bookham Technology (which had an IPO in 2000, became Oclaro in 2009 and is now a part of Lumentum), and later became chairman of Kotura (sold to Mellanox in 2013). Rockley has developed a highly versatile, third-generation silicon photonics platform specifically designed for the optical I/O challenges facing next-generation sensor systems and communications networks.
Rockley’s photonic technology platform was developed with a focus on high-volume manufacture of highly integrated optical/electronic devices for high-performance applications. Exploiting optimized waveguide dimensions, it is said to offer significant benefits over conventional solutions including the production of higher-density optical circuits, the ability to create more complex integration, better manufacturing tolerances, superior power handling, lower loss and higher-efficiency photonic IC interfaces. The firm says that its technology can be adapted to be application specific, while simplifying manufacturing, assembly, test and validation, and optimizing power, size and cost of complex optical systems.
Rockley is now delivering a new class of non-invasive sensor for health-related sensing and monitoring applications. Its technology enables personalized monitoring of a much larger set of physical and chemical biomarkers than those currently available.
Rockley also develops and supplies photonic chipsets for datacoms applications. Integrated photonics eliminate the need for traditional discrete components and deliver lower-cost, highly scalable solutions for data-center connectivity. It increases bandwidth density, delivers lower energy consumption and significantly reduces the issue of heat.
“Our technology is flexible and powerful and drives multiple applications for a wide range of high-growth market sectors, including consumer sensors, healthcare and data communications,” says Rickman.
Rockley has raised $165m from investors including Applied Materials, Morningside Technology Ventures and Ahren Innovation Capital. A total of $300m in equity and NRE (non-recurring engineering) funding has been raised to date to support commercialization of its unique technology platform.