Rockley Photonics, Hengtong Optic-Electric form joint venture for optical transceiver module manufacturing

Rockley Photonics Ltd. says it has teamed up with Hengtong Optic-Electric Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hengtong Group, to manufacture high-performance optical transceiver modules leveraging its silicon photonics technology. Based on a $42 million co-investment led by Hengtong Optic-Electric, the joint venture will commercialize Rockley Photonics' advanced photonics technology for networking applications.

Rockley Photonics Ltd. says it has teamed up with Hengtong Optic-Electric Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hengtong Group, to manufacture high-performance optical transceiver modules leveraging its silicon photonics technology.

Based on a $42 million co-investment led by Hengtong Optic-Electric, the joint venture will commercialize Rockley Photonics' advanced photonics technology for networking applications. It will manufacture and sell silicon photonics optical modules to meet market demands for high-speed data communication, such as carrier networks, internet data centers, high-performance computing, and deep learning applications. Rockley Photonics' high-density optical integration with monolithic fiber attach technologies will be employedby the new product, along with an all-CMOS electrical chipset, providing photonic optical transceiver modules to deliver low power.

According to research published by Technavio, the global optical network hardware market is expected to grow to USD 24.99 billion by 2021, at almost a 13% compound growth rate. This growth is driven by new optical network hardware demand, including increasing mobile data traffic, data center demand, and 5G network development. Rockley Photonics says its silicon photonics designs meet this increasing demand of higher speed and integration for efficient data transmission.

"Demand for high-speed optical interconnect is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and technology providers must demonstrate capacity to deliver solutions at high volume scale," said Dr. Andrew Rickman, Rockley Photonics chief executive officer. "Hengtong Optic-Electric is a recognized manufacturing leader for fiber-optic technologies, and we are excited to partner with them in delivering our next generation solutions."

Rickman is the previous founder of Bookham Technology in the UK (now Oclaro, Inc.) and stepped back into optical technology as chairman and CEO of Rockley Photonics Ltd. in 2014 (see "Bookham founder resurfaces at Rockley Photonics").

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