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IME, Fujikura Partner on Next-Gen Optical Modulators

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SINGAPORE, Oct. 18, 2010 — The Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Fujikura Limited in Japan, have announced a research collaboration agreement to jointly develop next-generation silicon optical modulators for future optical communication networks. The partnership aims to commercialize and launch the new silicon optical device for the emerging optical communications market in Japan.

Under the agreement, Fujikura will utilize IME’s design expertise and established silicon-based process infrastructure to build an integrated optical device with high aggregate data rate. Fujikura is a manufacturer of optical fiber communication cables, with involvement in the development of optical components and instruments, electronic and automotive components, as well as in other new technologies.

“We envision our strategic partnership to accelerate our vision of a low-cost and high-yield ‘plug-and-play’ solution to connect multiple devices to PCs with fiber optic lines. IME’s proximity to the other supply chain providers in Singapore is also an added incentive to the collaboration,” said Takamasa Kato, executive vice president of Fujikura. “IME is one of the few organizations in the world to offer advanced CMOS research facilities and silicon photonics prototyping service on a cost-sharing platform. The application of silicon-on-insulator wafers and fully CMOS-compatible processes in IME’s solutions will offset the costly equipment investments commonly associated with technology transition.”

Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of IME said, “We are excited to participate in Fujikura’s mission to bring optical technology to the masses. The optical components market is an untapped one and demand for these components is expected to grow exponentially, driven by consumers’ demand for faster data communications.

“We foresee optical devices that deploy Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and fiber-optic-based techniques to make up a considerable portion of the market share. Silicon is a widely-used material in semiconductor fabrication processes and IME has made possible the fabrication of optical devices on existing silicon-based process infrastructure. This will undoubtedly help to position the industry players for the emerging optoelectronics market,” Kwong added.

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Oct 2010
A*STARAsia-PacificBusinessCMOSCommunicationsdense wavelength division multiplexingDim-Lee Kwongfiber opticsFujikuraIMEJapanoptical communicationoptical fiber communication cablesopticsPCs with fiber optic linessilicon optical modulatorssilicon photonicssilicon-on-insulator wafersSingaporeTakamasa KatoWafers

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