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Rockley Completes Silicon Photonics Platform

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Targets advanced sensing and interconnectivity for AI processing and 5G backhaul

Rockley Photonics, an integrated optics company focused on high-density digital systems, has announced the completion of its fully integrated silicon photonics platform running in a large-scale foundry environment.

Chipset shipments to Rockley customers have begun and products implementing them will ramp up the production curve.

The integrated photonic platform delivers low-cost, high-value wafer scale processing to photonics.According to the company, it is key to many product opportunities in applications where Rockley has go-to-market partnerships including optical sensing, 3D laser imaging and AI computing connectivity. It solves the key issues experienced by wafer scale silicon photonics to date, including elimination of active precision fibre alignment, full functionality in a single chip and optimised integration with microelectronics and systems.

Andrew Rickman, Chairman and CEO said: “In one partnership example, Active Optical Cables (AOCs) and transceivers will be manufactured by our joint venture with Hengtong Optic-Electric Suzhou, a world-leading optical fibre and cable provider. The platform-derived photonics and electronics chipset we are providing are key to facilitating the massive scaling required in data centre expansion, AI computing connectivity and 5G backhaul, where high bandwidth and dense optical input/output are paramount and also where cost and power utilisation are critical.”

High-density in-package optical connectivity for powerful ASICs, known as optoASICs, is one of the applications Rockley's technology platform has been developed for. Last year, Rockley demonstrated this technology in the world's first single ASIC Level 3 data centre routing switch with integrated 100G network ports using single-mode optical fibre.

Rickman continued: “The platform's ability to fully integrate transceiver functionality sets it apart from other transceiver solutions that use older chip-on-board, labor-intensive assembly practices. Its versatility provides the pathway for the vertical integration of a low-cost, differentiated product set that will help drive new competitiveness in large established markets like the AOC/transceiver market as data links reach 400G and beyond.”

New board appointment

Earler this month, Rockley announced the appointment of Caroline Brown to its board of directors. Brown is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a first-class degree and PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from the Cass Business School, University of London. She will chair the company's audit committee.

“Chairing our audit committee is a critical role as we structure our business for growth,” said Mahesh Karanth, chief finance officer, Rockley Photonics. “Our technology addresses multiple markets from data centres to the sensing environment for automation, autonomy, IOT and AI. We need the right financial platform in place to be successful in these high-growth sectors.”

Brown has served as senior independent director and audit chair for several AIM businesses and currently holds several non-executive directorships. She has over 18 years of experience in driving strategic growth and leading high performing teams in the technology and professional services sectors, including roles with Merrill Lynch (New York), UBS and HSBC.

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