CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 8 -- Digital Optics Corp. and Hewlett-Packard subsidiary Agilent Technologies Inc. will work together to develop a demonstrator micro-optical module for use in transmitter/receiver communications applications. Digital Optics has received a $1.65 million grant under the US Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program to develop a prototyping and manufacturing infrastructure for wafer-level integrated micro-optical systems (IMOS), often called photonic chips. The two companies' partnership calls for Digital Optics Corp. to design and manufacture an IMOS demonstrator that will serve as the optical engine for a fiber-optic module. Agilent Technologies will work with Digital Optics on the creation of the demonstrator, and will provide system-level integration and testing. Digital Optics said its technology could have the potential to lead to fiber-optic modules that are more manufacturable, with a lower cost, higher performance, and smaller form factor.