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Entries in Rockley Photonics (7)


Rockley Photonics showcases its in-packaged design at OFC  

Rockley Photonics has showcased its in-packaged optics design to select customers and development partners at the OFC show being held in San Diego this week.

The packaged design includes Rockley's own 2 billion transistor layer 3 router chip, and its silicon photonics-based optical transceivers. The layer 3 router chip, described as a terabit device, also includes mixed-signal circuits needed for the optical transceevers' transmit and receive paths.

 Source: Rockley Photonics (annotated by Gazettabyte).Rockley says it is using 500m-reach PSM4 transceivers for the design and that while a dozen ribbon cables are shown, this does not mean there are 12 100-gigabit PSM4 transceivers. The company is not saying what the total optical input-output is. 

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Rockley Photonics eyes multiple markets

Andrew Rickman, founder and CEO of silicon photonics start-up, Rockley Photonics, discusses the new joint venture with Hengtong Optic-Electric, the benefits of the company’s micron-wide optical waveguides and why the timing is right for silicon photonics. 

Andrew Rickman

The joint venture between Rockley Photonics and Chinese firm Hengtong Optic-Electric is the first announced example of Rockley’s business branching out.

The start-up’s focus has been to apply its silicon photonics know-how to data-centre applications. In particular, Rockley has developed an Opto-ASIC package that combines optical transceiver technology with its own switch chip design. Now it is using the transceiver technology for its joint venture.

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Reflections on OFC 2017

Mood, technologies, notable announcements - just what are the metrics to judge the OFC 2017 show held in Los Angeles last week?

It was the first show I had attended in several years and the most obvious changes were how natural the presence of the internet content providers now is alongside the telecom operators, as well as systems vendors exhibiting at the show. Chip companies, while also present, were fewer than before.

Source: OSA

Another impression were the latest buzz terms: 5G, the Internet of Things and virtual reality-augmented reality. Certain of these technologies are more concrete than others, but their repeated mention suggests a consensus that the topics are real enough to impact optical components and networking.

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Tackling system design on a data centre scale 

Silicon photonics luminaries series

Interview 1: Andrew Rickman

Silicon photonics has been a recurring theme in the career of Andrew Rickman. First, as a researcher looking at the feasibility of silicon-based optical waveguides, then as founder of Bookham Technologies, and after that as a board member of silicon photonics start-up, Kotura.


Andrew Rickman

Now as CEO of start-up Rockley Photonics, his company is using silicon photonics alongside its custom ASIC and software to tackle a core problem in the data centre: how to connect more and more servers in a cost effective and scaleable way.

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Books in 2015 - Final Part 

The final part of what industry figures have been reading in 2015 - Part 3 of 3

Sterling Perring, senior analyst, Heavy Reading  

My ambitions to read far exceed my actual reading output, and because I have such a backlog of books on my reading list, I generally don’t read the latest.

Source: The Age of Spiritual Machines

I have long been fascinated by a graphic from futurist Ray Kurweil which depicts the exponential growth of computing and plots it against living intelligence. The graphic is from Kurzweil’s 1999 book on artificial intelligence The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, which I read in 2015.

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Interconnection networks - an introduction

Part 2: Data centre switching primer to provide some background as to what Rockley Photonics is doing.    

Source: Jonah D. Friedman

If moving information between locations is the basis of communications, then interconnection networks represent an important subcategory. 

The classic textbook, Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks by Dally and Towles, defines interconnection networks as a way to transport data between sub-systems of a digital system.

The digital system may be a multi-core processor with the interconnect network used to link the on-chip CPU cores. Since the latest processors can have as many as 100 cores, designing such a network is a significant undertaking.

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Rockley demos a silicon photonics switch prototype  

Part 1: Rockley Photonics

Rockley Photonics has made a prototype switch to help grow the number of servers that can be linked in a data centre. The issue with interconnection networks inside a data centre is that they do not scale linearly as more servers are added.  


Dr. Andrew Rickman

“If you double the number of servers connected in a mega data centre, you don’t just double the complexity of the network, it goes up exponentially,” explains Andrew Rickman, co-founder, chairman and CEO at Rockley Photonics. “That is the problem we are addressing.”

By 2017 and 2018, it will still be possible to build the networks that large-scale data centre network operators require, says Rickman, but at an ever increasing cost and with a growing power consumption. “The basic principles of what they are doing needs to be rethought,” he says.

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