Vector Photonics nets £1 million ZEUS project funding to commercialize 1-Watt PCSEL for AI applications

April 20, 2023
“ZEUS is a 24-month project covering the design, simulation, manufacture, and test, of a 1-Watt, AI PCSEL,” explained Dr. Richard Taylor, CTO of Vector Photonics.

Laser startup Vector Photonics says it will receive £1 million ($1.24 million) via the UK’s ZEUS industrial research project to help commercialize its 1-W, all-semiconductor Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers (PCSELs) for artificial intelligence (AI) applications. The PCSEL will be able to provide up to 20 data channels per chip in support of AI silicon, the company asserts.

The work funded under Zeus will leverage Vector Photonics’ previous datacom PCSEL commercialization efforts as a foundation (see, for example, “Vector Photonics touts new investment, PCSEL performance”). The company asserts its PCSELs will generate significantly more optical power than standard DFBs, which operate at a maximum of 100 mW, Vector Photonics estimates.

The Zeus project is a collaborative fund split between Innovate UK at £700,000 ($871,000) and the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund at £300,000 ($373,000). “ZEUS is a 24-month project covering the design, simulation, manufacture, and test, of a 1-Watt, AI PCSEL,” explained Dr. Richard Taylor, CTO of Vector Photonics. “The full impact of a 1-Watt PCSEL on AI chip design is not yet quantified, as the entire architecture of the chips and systems will change, but it brings countless manufacturing and energy saving benefits. Power consumption, heat, and latency are reduced; the PCSEL’s symmetrical far-field requires less operational power for equivalent performance, so a further power reduction can be expected here; and the vastly reduced laser count per chip makes manufacture simpler and the chip smaller, which will undoubtedly improve yield and reliability.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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