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Imec partners with Huawei on optical data link technology

Nanoelectronics research centre imec and Huawei have taken a further step in their strategic 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, with a view to achieving technological progress in this vital area for delivering connectivity matching the needs of the Europe of tomorrow. In 2013, Huawei acquired leading photonics company Caliopa spin-off from imec and UGent, thereby adding silicon photonics research to its European R&D portfolio. Delivering on its commitment of boosting Caliopa’s development, Huawei has been investing in its human resources and infrastructure, prompting it to move offices to keep step with its rapid growth. “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.
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