Photonics News: Week in Brief: 12/24/21

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Optical networking company Infinera and Italian telecom provider Fastweb achieved what they report as a record-breaking single-wavelength service connectivity speed trial of 600 Gbit/s across Fastweb’s network, including the Milan-Bari optical route. The route spans 1372 km (853 miles). The demonstration used Infinera’s fifth-generation ICE6 800G technology on the GX Series Compact Modular Platform.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The Air Force Research Laboratory’s and Northrop Grumman’s Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project report the successful conversion of solar energy to radio frequency in the first end-to-end demonstration of key hardware for the Arachne flight experiment. The test demonstrated novel components for the “sandwich tile,” which is composed of a layer of highly efficient photovoltaic cells that collect solar energy and provide power to the second layer. The second layer is populated with components that enable solar to radio conversion and beam forming. Arachne is expected to launch in 2025.
Project managers James Winter of AFRL and Tara Theret of Northrop Grumman hold models of the photovoltaic and radio frequency sides of the sandwich tile. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman.
Project managers James Winter of AFRL and Tara Theret of Northrop Grumman hold models of the photovoltaic and radio frequency sides of the sandwich tile. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman. 
CHICAGO — Quantum-focused accelerator Duality opened applications for its second cohort. Startups accepted into the 12-month program receive critical resources to accelerate their business, including $50,000 in nondilutive funding, mentorship, business training, opportunities to access state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated office space, introductions to industry partners and investors, and more. Duality corporate supporters provide financial support for the program and a combination of mentorship and other professional resources. They include Amazon Web Services and Toptica Photonics. Startups meeting the eligibility requirements have until March 25 to apply.

MIGDAL HAEMEK, Israel — Tower Semiconductor and Juniper Networks established a silicon photonics foundry-ready process with integrated III-V lasers, amplifiers, modulators, and detectors. The integrated laser process addresses optical connectivity in data centers and telecom networks, as well as emerging applications in artificial intelligence, lidar, and other sensors. Process design kits are expected to be available by the end of the year, and the first open multiproject wafer run is expected to be offered in early 2022. The first samples of full 400 Gb/s and 800 Gb/s PICs reference designs with integrated lasers are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2022.

OXFORD, England — Rockley Photonics will not proceed with its data-communications-related technical sale to Hengtong Rockley Technology Co. Ltd., its joint venture with Jiangsu Hengtong Optic-Electric Co. Ltd. The decision is due to the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce placing Hengtong and some of its affiliates on the BIS Entity List with an effective date of Dec. 17, 2021. U.S. export administration regulations prohibit companies from providing products and technologies to organizations on the Entity List without prior authorization. Rockley is currently reviewing its relationship with the joint venture and will make decisions based on its findings. The company issued an updated business outlook for the full year 2021 and 2022. 

MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Ambient Photonics has been invited to submit a Part II Application for a loan guarantee under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. The proposed $162 million loan guarantee from the DOE would support the development of a large-scale U.S.-based low-light solar cell production facility with a fully automated production line and capacity for tens of millions of units per year. Ambient’s printing process coats its proprietary chemistry on thin, durable glass substrates to allow for rapid-scale commercialization. Ambient reports that the facility would be the largest low-light energy-harvesting technology factory in the world. Additionally, the planned facility is estimated to eliminate tens of thousands of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. 

PREMSTAETTEN, Austria — Ams OSRAM entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Fluence horticulture lighting systems business and brand to Signify for $272 million. Fluence is a provider of energy-efficient LED lighting system solutions for the horticultural industry, headquartered in Austin, Texas, and acquired by OSRAM in 2018. The transaction represents a step in the execution of ams OSRAM’s strategy to focus and realign its business portfolio on its core technology areas in illumination, visualization, and sensing.

WORCESTER, Mass. — Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) received a nearly $1 million grant from the Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program to support a research center at WPI focused on the security of semiconductors and hardware critical to key innovation industries. The facility will enable a critical testbed for WPI and partners to work with private industry and to develop training programs to support the workforce needs of technology companies in the region. Funding will specifically support the acquisition of a custom-built, high-sensitivity, high-resolution semiconductor failure analysis microscope system. The workforce program and microscope system aim to address security needs in the semiconductor industry, enabling integrated chip debugging and diagnosis, and failure analysis.

Published: December 2021
A measure of time-integrated particle flux given as particles per square centimeter (joules/cm2).
Smallest amount into which the energy of a wave can be divided. The quantum is proportional to the frequency of the wave. See photon.
BusinessfundinggrantloanWorcester Polytechnic InstituteAFRLAir Force Research LabAir Force Research LaboratorydualitysolarNorthrop GrummanTower SemiconductorJuniper Networksams OsramFluenceSignifysalestartupstartup acceleratorstartup competitionquantumLasersFacilityFiber Optics & CommunicationsInfineraAmbient Photonics

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