Monday, June 6, 2022

OpenLight unveils Silicon Photonics platform with integrated InP lasers

OpenLight, a start-up based in Santa Barbara, California, introduced its open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers.

OpenLight operates under the tagline, "Open. Integrated. Scalable." The open platform includes integrated lasers, optical amplifiers, modulators, photodetectors, and other key photonic components to form a complete solution for low-power, high-performance photonics ICs. In addition, OpenLight offers select PIC designs and design services to accelerate time-to-market. 

The company says it aims to accelerate the development of high-performance photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in applications such as datacom, telecom, LiDAR, healthcare, HPC, AI, and optical computing. The technology has passed qualification and reliability tests on Tower's PH18DA production process. OpenLight expects the first open Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) shuttle run on the PH18DA process as well as 400G and 800G reference designs with integrated lasers to be available in Summer 2022.

By processing the Indium Phosphide (InP) materials directly on the silicon photonics wafer, the PH18DA platform reduces the cost and time of adding lasers, enabling volume scalability and improved power efficiency. In addition, monolithically integrated lasers improve overall reliability and simplify packaging. 

"The rapidly growing silicon photonics market is being driven by the relentless demand for higher bandwidth needed to analyze, store and move complex data," said Dr. Thomas Mader, Chief Operating Officer at OpenLight. "OpenLight's open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers enables scaling from one laser to hundreds, or even thousands of lasers per PIC, all monolithically integrated at the wafer level. With our platform, companies can enter emerging markets faster, accelerate new applications and completely change the way their teams build photonic systems of tomorrow."

"We strongly believe that OpenLight's technology will transform the silicon photonics industry," said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tower Semiconductor's Analog Business Unit. "Providing an open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers that has been qualified on Tower's process will help mutual customers innovate and fuel the next generation of silicon photonics designs at scale. We are excited to partner with OpenLight in this journey."

  • OpenLight is led by Dr. Thomas Mader, Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Daniel Sparacin, VP of Business Development and Strategy, and Dr. Volkan Kaman, VP of Engineering.

Synopsys and Juniper form joint venture for silicon photonics

Synopsys and Juniper Networks are establishing a joint venture company focused on open silicon photonics for applications such as telecom, datacom, LiDAR, healthcare, HPC, AI, and optical computing. The new company's open silicon photonics platform will include integrated lasers, optical amplifiers, and a full suite of photonic components to form a complete solution that will be accessible through a Process Design Kit (PDK). The platform promises...

Tower Semi and Juniper develop silicon photonics process 

Tower Semiconductor and Juniper Networks announced a silicon photonics (SiPho) foundry-ready process with integrated III-V lasers, amplifiers modulators and detectors. Potential applications include optical connectivity in datacenters and telecom networks, as well as AI, LiDAR and other sensors. The new platform co-integrates III-V lasers, semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA), electro-absorption modulators (EAM) and photodetectors with...

Windstream Wholesale launches nationwide 400G routes

 Windstream Wholesale announced the following 400G wave service routes:

  • Ashburn, Va., to Chicago, Denver, San Jose and Los Angeles
  • Atlanta to Dallas, Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles
  • Seattle to Portland, San Jose and Los Angeles
  • Chicago to Dallas and Atlanta

“The bandwidth demands facing large enterprise and hyperscale customers are expanding and evolving rapidly as the transition to cloud services and cloud computing accelerates, and Windstream Wholesale is enhancing our long-haul network to ensure we meet their needs,” said Joe Scattareggia, chief revenue officer of Windstream Wholesale. “We are cascading a phased approach that gives our customers time to plan as we continue to invest and enable 400G services across our entire core long-haul network.”

Windstream Wholesale is also taking orders now for the following routes, which will be 400G capable in the second half of 2022:

  • Chicago to Atlanta and Miami
  • Chicago to Newark and New York City
  • Atlanta to Ashburn, Newark and New York City
  • McAllen, Texas; to Dallas, Memphis, Ashburn and New York City

The company will begin accepting orders for the third phase of its 400G expansion starting in the third quarter of 2022.

Windstream Wholesale completes 400G ZR+ trials

Windstream Wholesale completed interoperability testing of QSFP-DD form factor ZR+ pluggable modules from II-VI and Acacia, now part of Cisco. The tests established 400 Gigabit links in a production environment over a 1,027-kilometer link. The team also leveraged the Marvell Deneb Coherent DSP within a native 0 dBm II-VI pluggable and the Acacia module using the Greylock DSP. Industry standard oFEC algorithms were also used in the trials.“These...

Windstream Wholesale and Infinera develop Node-on-a-Blade 

Windstream Wholesale will transform its optical network infrastructure using an innovative Node-on-a-Blade jointly pioneered by Infinera and Windstream.The companies describe Node-on-a-Blade as the next evolution of ROADM-based solutions that will provide a more advanced and cost-effective approach to optical networking enabling deployment across a wider variety of network locations. Advanced capabilities include a coherent optical channel monitor...

NTT DOCOMO announces 6G partnerships

NTT DOCOMO and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced partnerships with Fujitsu, NEC, and Nokia to conduct experimental trials of new mobile communications technologies for the targeted commercial launch of 6G services by around 2030.

Launching the envisioned 6G services will require verification of numerous new mobile technologies, including those needed to newly use frequencies in the millimeter and sub-terahertz (above 6 GHz) bands, in addition to bands for existing 5G services. The trials are also expected to verify AI-based wireless transmission methods. DOCOMO and NTT will jointly conduct experimental trials with the three vendors, focusing on mobile technologies using new 6G frequency bands and AI-based wireless technology among these various mobile technologies.

The new 6G system will greatly exceed the performance of 5G and simultaneously provide high-speed, large capacity, and low latency capabilities, use new high-frequency bands such as sub-terahertz bands above 100 GHz, expand communication coverage in the sky, at sea and in space, and enable both ultra-low-power consumption and low-cost communications.

Naoki Tani, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at DOCOMO, said: "6G studies are progressing two or three years ahead of that of 5G. From this early stage, we would like to collaborate with world-leading global vendors to proactively demonstrate breakthrough concepts and technologies and promote them to the world."

DOCOMO and NTT will begin conducting indoor trials within the fiscal year ending in March 2023, and outdoor trials will begin in the following fiscal year. The trials are expected to verify concepts proposed so far by DOCOMO and NTT and will be reported in global research groups, international conferences and standardization activities related to 6G, and will serve as a foundation for more advanced technologies.

Nokia collaborates with DOCOMO on 6G

Nokia announced a partnership with DOCOMO and NTT to jointly define and develop key technologies towards 6G. 

The collaboration will focus on two proof-of-concepts for emerging 6G technologies: an AI native air interface and sub-THz radio access. These aim to demonstrate a performance gain with an AI based 6G air interface compared to a conventional air interface, and to show that high-data rate beamformed access can be achieved in a high frequency band at 140 GHz.

Nokia envisions six key technologies that will be vital components of future 6G networks: new spectrum technologies, AI native air interface, network as a sensor, extreme connectivity, cognitive, automated and specialized architectures, and security and trust.

Among the six key technology components, the initial focus of the partnership is to demonstrate the benefits of AI-based learned waveform in the transmitter with a deep learning receiver in the mid-band, as well as to test high data rate indoor communications in the sub-THz band. These technologies have the potential to substantially improve deployment flexibility and to increase network throughput beyond that of 5G in the respective spectrum bands and without necessarily increasing energy consumption. Providing high-rate access will be important in enabling enhanced and new use cases in the 6G era, such as multi-modal mixed-reality telepresence and remote collaboration, massive twinning and collaborating robots.

The plan is to set up environments for experiments and demonstrations in DOCOMO and NTT premises in Japan and Nokia premises in Stuttgart, Germany, and to begin performing the desired tests and measurements in 2022.

Naoki Tani, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at DOCOMO, said: "DOCOMO has been collaborating with Nokia since 2014 to accelerate the experimental trials for 5G wireless technology and promote the creation of new use cases. We are excited to work with Nokia to realize the 6G concept. DOCOMO and NTT will now start the experimental trials of two 6G proof-of-concepts for high-rate transmission in the sub-THz band and AI native air interface, and contribute to 6G commercialization with vertical industry partners."

Peter Vetter, President Bell Labs Core Research, Nokia, said: “We envision that 6G will unify the human experience across the digital, physical and human worlds. We build on a long tradition of collaborations between the world-leading labs at DOCOMO and Nokia Bell Labs. Nokia is very honored to engage in this collaboration with DOCOMO and NTT, as global leading operators that are always among the first to bring new generations to the market. We look forward to working together and validating key concepts and key technologies to realize the 6G vision.”

Next G Alliance outlines North America's roadmap for 6G

by Benedict Chua, Associate EditorATIS’ Next G Alliance published a Roadmap to 6G report that presents the first 6G vision for North America and describes major steps that industry, government and academia should take to ensure North American wireless leadership for the next decade.ATIS said more than 600 experts from 80 Next G Alliance members representing industry, government and academia came together to create the 43-page report.The following...

European Commission plans €900 million for 6G research

by Benedict Chua, Associate Editor The European Commission is backing a public R&I investment of €900 million over its new long-term budget period 2021-2027 to coordinate research activities on 6G technology under Horizon Europe as well as 5G deployment initiatives under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital and other programmes.A first set of 6G projects worth €60 million launched last month under the 5G-PPP with the Hexa-X flagship developing...

CityFibre secures £4.9bn in financing

CityFibre announced a debt package totalling £4.9bn for underwriting its rollout to a third of the UK market by 2025.

The debt raise is underwritten by NatWest, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole CIB, BBVA, Intesa Sanpaolo, ING and SEB; with ABN AMRO, Lloyds Bank and the pensions and M&G Investments, the international asset manager, joining as core lenders.

Also participating as a core lender is the recently established UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), recognising CityFibre’s contribution to critical national infrastructure deployment and the Government’s levelling up programme.

The financing follows £1.125bn in equity investments that CityFibre has closed in the last ten months from two new investors, Mubadala and Interogo Holding as well as from existing investors Antin Infrastructure Partners and the Infrastructure business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Combined, these debt and equity funds will fully finance the completion of CityFibre’s rollout to 8m homes, 800k businesses, 400k public sector sites and 250k 5G access points. They will also establish the UK’s first large-scale, carrier-neutral Full Fibre infrastructure platform, providing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile operators with access to the nation’s most advanced fixed-line network and unleashing over £38bn in economic benefits to help level up the UK.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer of CityFibre, said: “Over the last decade we’ve built a business that has transformed the UK’s digital connectivity landscape for the better. With our rollout now fully financed, backed by so many esteemed financial institutions, we have emerged as a strong national challenger.

“But CityFibre’s aim is not simply to challenge. It’s to be better. It’s to establish ourselves as the preferred network wherever we build, bringing higher-quality, more affordable infrastructure within reach of millions and unleashing the transformative economic potential of Full Fibre to help level up the UK. We have never been more confident that we will succeed.”

Latvia's LMT picks Nokia 5G Standalone Core

LMT, a communication service provider based in Latvia, has selected Nokia's 5G Standalone (SA) Core to deliver new advanced 5G services, like network slicing, enhance its network experience and reliability, and more quickly monetize its network assets. The deal widens Nokia’s footprint in LMT, which already uses Nokia Cloud Packet Core, Subscriber Data Management, and software solutions for 5G signaling and cloud management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment will also include the Nokia 7220 Interconnect Router for data center fabric.

Nokia notes that is now has 60 customers for its 5G SA Core, including around 30 CSPs in Europe. In addition, 25 of the top 40 communication service providers globally by revenue rely on Nokia Core network products.

Fran Heeran, SVP & Head of Core Networks, Cloud and Network Services, at Nokia, said: “We are proud to build on our solid partnership with LMT by providing it with Nokia’s market leading Core Network technology to enable the rollout of advanced 5G services. LMT already provides its customers with a strong experience and we look forward to furthering that work.”

Anritsu and AeroGT Labs partner on 5G MIMO OTA testing

Anritsu and AeroGT Labs are collaborating on 5G Multiple-In Multiple-Out (MIMO) Over-the-Air (OTA) test platforms to characterize, test, and optimize antennas. The platforms perform single- or multiple-use antenna performance and reliability tests on products, such as vehicles, mobile devices, and similar designs, in a simulated environment before commercialization.  

Vehicle antenna performance is vital in advanced autonomous driving vehicles and critical automotive safety features, such as eCall. In modern vehicles, there is a minimum of 15 onboard antennas that link communications, entertainment, self-driving, and safety subsystems. They must be tested singularly and simultaneously to ensure proper operation and their ability to coexist.   

The turnkey systems integrate solutions from General Test Systems (GTS) and the Anritsu MT8821C and MT8000A. 

"The millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency range is characterized by high-performance and robust reliability and is ideal for 5G MIMO OTA applications," said Steve Wong, Chief Marketing Officer for AeroGT. "While performing OTA MIMO measurements in a mmWave anechoic chamber is necessary to obtain reliable and accurate measurements, a myriad of other instrumentation, such as vector network analyzers, signal generators, and automation software, is required and must be integrated to form a fully functional system.