Micro Matters


Rockley Photonics and Hengtong Optic-Electric form joint venture to deliver next-generation silicon photonics optical modules

Published: 10 January 2018 - Sarah Mead

Joint venture products to serve worldwide networks with advanced technology for optics/electronics manufacturing delivering low-power and superior economics.

Rockley Photonics, a leading silicon photonics innovator for next-generation networks, has announced a joint venture with Hengtong Optic-Electric Co., Ltd. to manufacture high performance optical transceiver modules based on its silicon photonics technology.

The joint venture (JV) was established based on a $42m co-investment led by Hengtong Optic-Electric, a world leader in the fiber-optic communication industry, and will commercialize Rockley Photonics’ advanced photonics technology for networking applications. The JV will manufacture and sell silicon photonics optical modules to meet the burgeoning market for high-speed data communication, including carrier networks, internet data centers, high performance computing, and deep learning applications.

The new products will employ Rockley Photonics’ innovations for high-density optical integration with innovative monolithic fiber attach technologies and an all-CMOS electrical chipset to offer a new generation of photonic optical transceiver modules delivering lower power and high manufacturing efficiencies.

“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, Chief Executive Officer, Rockley Photonics Limited. “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.”

“Silicon photonic technology is reshaping the economic structure of optical module market,” said Mr. Weiming Shi, announcer of Hengtong  Optic-Electric Co., Ltd., and General Manager of Jiangsu Hengtong Optical Network Technology Co., Ltd. “The joint venture will employ Hengtong’s advanced R&D of optical module and intelligent manufacturing technology, along with Rockley’s worldwide first-class silicon photonic  technology platform. We are pleased to work together with Rockley to deploy these technologies, and the combination of our companies with help satisfy the worldwide demand for low-power, cost-effective optical modules.”

The global optical network hardware market is forecast to grow to USD 24.99 billion by 2021, at a compound growth rate of close to 13%, according to research published byTechnavio. Growing mobile data traffic, high demand for data centers and development of 5G networks are just some of the leading drivers of demand for new optical network hardware. 

Rockley Photonics’ silicon photonics designs meet the increasing demands of higher speed and integration for more efficient data transmission, while satisfying customer requirements for low power and superior economics.

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