Telecommunications firm Samtec Inc. has joined the silicon photonics program at IRT Nanoelec, a research institute in Grenoble, France. The program's goal is to develop and industrialize optical communications solutions by using silicon photonics technology to address data centers and high-performance computing applications. "This technology will strengthen Samtec’s expertise in high data rate applications from 28 Gb/s to 56 Gb/s and beyond, as well as allow further photonics integration for higher density, higher bandwidth, and lower cost per gigabit optical interconnects," said Marc Verdiell, chief technology officer of the Samtec Optical Group. The IRT Nanoelec Silicon Photonics Program was launched in 2012. Its core members are Mentor Graphics Corp. of Wilsonville, Ore., STMicroelectronics NV of Geneva, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and CEA-LETI, another French research institution laboratory. "Samtec will bring strong and complementary skills in optical and high-speed electrical packaging to our current consortium," said Sylvie Menezo, director of the program. She said the consortium is adding research institutes and companies involved in silicon foundry, electronic design automation and packaging. Samtec supplies high-speed interconnects, cable assemblies, optical systems, IC packaging and microelectronics. For more information, visit www.samtec.com and www.irtnanoelec.fr.