US firm Rockley Photonics to establish R&D centre at Cork’s Tyndall National Institute
20 March 2018
Prof Eoin O'Reilly, interim CEO of the Tyndall National Institute, Cork; Dr Sunit Rikhi, non-executive director & executive consultant for Rockley Photonics; Prof Mark Ferguson, SFI; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; and Dr Patrick Morrissey, centre manager of the SFI Research Centre IPIC
Rockley Photonics plans to establish an Irish R&D centre at Tyndall National Institute, Cork, it has been announced. The centre will support Rockley’s growing global activities, in particular, its silicon photonics research programme. The announcement was made at a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) event in Washington DC to celebrate and build scientific collaboration between Ireland and the United States as part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival.
Initially hire five highly skilled employees at R&D centre
The announcement, which is part of a three-year collaboration with the SFI-funded Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), based at Tyndall, represents a joint investment of €3.4 million by Rockley and the SFI to advance silicon photonics from the lab to market, addressing the growing demand for faster and more energy efficient data communications in data centres. Rockley intends to initially hire five highly skilled employees at its new R&D centre.
With the extraordinary growth in internet traffic, combined with the non-stop demand for cloud-based services, data centres play a critical role in meeting the data explosion requirements.
Integrated optical technologies that enable data centres to operate faster, more economically and at greater scalability are necessary for the industry to continue to satisfy the demands of the new digital economy.
Jump to 400GB in the near future – creating a major increase in energy usage
Today’s market is shifting to transport rates of one-hundred gigabit per second (100GB), and this is expected to jump to 400GB in the near future – creating a major increase in energy usage as well as scalability issues unless new technologies, such as silicon photonics, are developed and deployed.
Dr Andrew Rickman, founder, CEO, and chairman of Rockley Photonics, explained: “Our highly innovative silicon photonics technology is designed to address the optical I/O challenges facing next-generation data centres – allowing network architects to take advantage of new high-density, low-power connectivity solutions and explore new network topologies and equipment design.
“This investment with the SFI Research Centre IPIC will enable us to combine our expertise and utilise Tyndall’s state-of-the-art facilities to develop groundbreaking early-stage technologies, which will not only have a huge impact on the future architecture design of large data centres, but will also improve the power and computational capacity of new consumer devices and provide robust sensing solutions in the autonomous vehicles and consumer device sectors as well as others.”
IPIC director and head of photonics Tyndall, Prof Paul Townsend highlighted: “The investment will not only advance IPIC’s optical modulator and photonics integration technologies into products designed for volume production, but will also strongly position both IPIC and Rockley to take competitive advantage in the datacomms market which is expected to reach $6.4 billion by 2023.”http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2018/03/20/us-firm-rockley-photonics-establish-rd-centre-corks-tyndall-national-institute/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/a-rock1-1024x684.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/a-rock1-300x300.jpgNewsbig data,SFI,Tyndall National Institute