Santa Clara — Rockley Photonics provides the perfect balance of electronics and photonics, lowering the economic and energy burden on data center upgrades
Based on its recent analysis of the data center networking infrastructure market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Rockley Photonics with the 2017 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation.
Rockley Photonics' novel approach to integrating silicon photonics with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips give data center architects the power to scale up networking infrastructure to meet computing demands. Along with this ability, Rockley Photonics' solution minimizes power and component requirements.
Rockley's highly innovative data center technology enables network architects to take advantage of new high-density, low-power connectivity solutions to explore new network topologies and equipment design. With Rockley Photonics' products, architects can build networks in the same manner they are accustomed to, or they can develop entirely new architectures which take advantage of the unique integration of CMOS switching and silicon photonics.
While competing technologies have handled the increase in data center demand to date, Rockley Photonics' innovative thinking could position it well into the future as data centers adapt to evolving cloud applications and workflows.
Rockley Photonics is all set to launch its first product and is focusing on packet switching for mega data centers. This market is the largest and most relevant for silicon photonics technology because of the introduction of 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) lane rates and 100 Gbps Ethernet.
"Based on the integration of photonics and CMOS technology, Rockley Photonics' product aids the upgrades of the switching technology," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Jabez Mendelson. He continued: "Therefore, instead of creating a network of boxes with high-speed circuit boards, optical transceivers and separate digital packet processing chips, Rockley Photonics collapses these components into a single, digital packet switch processing chip-set packaged with photonic interfaces. This helps data center architects to upgrade the infrastructure in a simpler, cost-efficient manner."
Rockley Photonics is a fabless silicon photonics company and its product manufacturing is outsourced to dedicated foundries. The use of mature manufacturing technologies and the fabless business model allows Rockley Photonics to scale up manufacturing without any additional capital investment.
"Even though the company is currently operating under the fabless semiconductor company model, it is poised to leverage technology licensing as a business model," noted Mendelson. "With the licensing model, it will be able to expand the application scope of silicon photonics."
While data center networks are expected to become the primary application space for silicon photonics-enabled packet switches, the unique integrated optical I/O technologies developed for the switching solution can also be "wrapped" around any digital ASIC. The application scope will expand to the inside of servers, for connecting various functional elements such as the CPU and memory blocks. In addition, it can cater to miniaturized computing devices such as smartphones and tablets, where interconnects will eventually transform from electrical to optical technology.
For its overall excellence in delivering a futuristic solution that can power the scaling up of data centers, Rockley Photonics deserves the 2017 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds the high R&D spend towards innovation, its relevance to the industry, and the positive impact on brand perception.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About Rockley Photonics
Rockley Photonics was formed in 2013 by an experienced management team, previously successful with two silicon photonics companies. Since inception, Rockley Photonics has developed a highly versatile 3rd generation silicon photonics platform specifically designed for the optical I/O challenges facing next generation data centers. They have built a highly experienced and talented team across appropriate technical and management disciplines: silicon photonics, complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS), datacenter network software/architecture, and commercial industrial operations. The focused team is on track to deliver the world's first packet switching OptoASIC (and associated reference designs and software stack) capable of delivering Ethernet packets across the data center (2km) directly from the switch chip package.
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About Frost & Sullivan
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