The biggest technological revolution of the past few decades has been integrating electronic components on silicon chips. Now, we’re seeing companies using the same process, but instead of making electronic circuits, they’re making circuits for light – this technology is called silicon photonics. The biggest use of this technology at the moment is to help tackle the ever-growing data transfer rates required within data centres, but just as the transistor found uses beyond transistor radios, silicon photonics is being used to make sensors for self-driving cars, medical diagnostic tools and quantum technologies. We’re making the toolkit that all of these other companies can use to create their products. We’re using computational design to make a wide range of optimised components. It will make development times shorter, manufacturing costs lower and device performance more reliable than existing approaches.
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