Microsoft Acquires Hollow-Core Fiber Innovator Lumenisity

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Microsoft has acquired Lumenisity Ltd., a supplier of next-generation hollow-core fiber (HCF) solutions. The acquisition will expand Microsoft’s ability to further optimize its global cloud infrastructure and serve customers with strict latency and security requirements.

Lumenisity’s HCF technology can provide benefits across a broad range of industries including health care, financial services, manufacturing, retail, and government. Organizations in these sectors could see significant benefit from HCF solutions as they rely on networks and data centers that require high-speed transactions, enhanced security, increased bandwidth, and high-capacity communications.

Potential rollouts for HCF technology span the public sector, where HCF could provide enhanced security and intrusion detection for federal and local governments worldwide. In health care, because HCF can accommodate the size and volume of large data sets, it could help accelerate medical image retrieval, facilitating providers’ ability to ingest, persist, and share medical imaging data in the cloud. In addition, with the rise of the digital economy, HCF could help international financial institutions seeking fast, secure transactions across a broad geographic region.
Microsoft acquired University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre spinout Lumenisity. The hollow core fiber technology developer is well known for itsested antiresonant hollow-core fibers (NANFs) — hollow-core fibers that rely on thin glass membranes surrounding the core to hold light in their central voids . Courtesy of Microsoft.
Microsoft acquired Lumenisity, a University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre spinoff. The hollow-core fiber technology developer is well known for its nested anti-resonant hollow-core fibers (NANFs) — hollow-core fibers that rely on thin glass membranes surrounding the core to hold light in their central voids. Courtesy of Microsoft.
Lumenisity formed in 2017 as a spinoff from the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton. Lumenisity’s HCF technology uses a proprietary design in which light propagates in an air core, providing a 47% boost in speed compared to traditional silica glass fiber optic cables. Lumenisity’s HCF solutions also enables lower costs, increased bandwidth, and enhanced network quality due to elimination of fiber nonlinearities and broader spectrum. The technology also offers the potential for ultralow signal loss enabling deployment over longer distances without repeaters.

The company is well known for its nested anti-resonant hollow-core fibers (NANFs) — hollow-core fibers that rely on thin glass membranes surrounding the core to hold light in their central voids — and Lumenisity bills its core technology as its NANF CoreSmart HCF cable.

In a  2020 research paper, Southampton researchers introduced three HCF designs with comparable attenuation to silica fibers between 600 and 1100 nm. The significance of application around the 660-, 850-, and 1060-nm wavelengths ties into a range of potential quantum- and semiconductor-based applications, including quantum computing and short-reach data transmission.

Published: December 2022
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
Optoelectronics is a branch of electronics that focuses on the study and application of devices and systems that use light and its interactions with different materials. The term "optoelectronics" is a combination of "optics" and "electronics," reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of this field. Optoelectronic devices convert electrical signals into optical signals or vice versa, making them crucial in various technologies. Some key components and applications of optoelectronics include: ...
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