Imec and Huawei to co-operate on high-bandwidth optical data link technology

December 04, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Belgian nanoelectronics research centre imec and Chinese company Huawei hav eannounced and extension of an existing partnership focusing on optical data link technology. The joint research on silicon-based optical interconnects is expected to deliver benefits including high speed, low power consumption and cost savings.

Silicon photonics is a key enabling technology expected to revolutionise optical communications by paving the way for the creation of highly integrated, low power optical transceivers used for data transmission and telecommunications.

Huawei has now joined imec's research programme which focuses on optimising bandwidth density, power consumption, thermal robustness and cost at the system level. Huawei engineers will work closely with imec’s R&D team in Leuven, Belgium.

In 2013, Huawei acquired leading photonics company Caliopa, a spin-off from imec and UGent, thereby adding silicon photonics research to its European R&D portfolio.

“This is an important next step in our collaboration with Huawei on silicon photonics. This collaboration, together with Huawei’s recent acquisition of our spin-off Caliopa that focuses on developing silicon photonics-based optical transceivers for the telecommunications industry, shows that our silicon photonics research is important for advancing next-generation high-bandwidth ICT solutions,” stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at imec. “We expect this partnership to give a further boost to our silicon photonics research over the coming years.”

“Having acquired cutting-edge expertise in the field of silicon photonics thanks to our acquisition of Caliopa last year, this partnership with imec is the logical next move towards next-generation optical communication. By combining our strengths in this strategic area, we can deliver ICT innovation that translates into value for businesses and consumers in Europe and beyond,” said Hudson Liu, CEO at Huawei Belgium.

imec; www.imec.be