POET Technologies, Inc., is about to roll out an unrivaled opto-electronic device and process platform that enables low power, minimized size and component cost for smart optical components. In short, POET provides management of data at the speed of light and the cost of copper.
From the most sophisticated extreme-environment satellite applications to the most everyday consumer appliances, the world is increasingly dependent on optical components. POET’s patented optical module-on-a-chip process, which integrates digital, high-speed analog and optical devices on the same chip, is designed to be the next industry standard for their fabrication. We believe our process could enable up to a 10X reduction in power consumption, component cost, and form factor.
Put another way, we could make what’s on a wafer up to 10 times cheaper, smaller and more energy efficient. And we believe we are the only company that can achieve this level of disruption across all three axes of cost, power and form factor.
POET — Planar Opto-Electronic Technology -- has created an opto-electronic process platform that is designed to enable functional optical integration monolithically at the wafer scale. This integration, which has thus far been lacking in opto-electronics enables cheaper, smaller and more energy efficient solutions. And POET believes it is the only company that can achieve this level of disruption across the three axes of cost, power and form factor.
POET’s core technology is a new process for making devices using gallium arsenide as the substrate for wafers instead of silicon. Gallium arsenide has a number of advantages over silicon, including faster speeds and lower energy consumption. But for POET, the real driver is the fact that gallium arsenide is the preeminent substrate for integrating optics onto the chip. Optical connections are much faster and more efficient than copper for transferring data inside and out of the chip.
POET is building an opto-electronics process platform that — for the first time ever — enables the core integration of optics and electronics on a single piece of a gallium arsenide wafer. This enables a wide variety of applications as a consequence. And we believe it is something that has never been done.
While computational speeds have gone up dramatically, communication speeds have not increased and as a consequence. The interconnects have become a bottleneck. Integrating optics on the chip can break the logjam by replacing copper with optics in high-throughput applications. We believe that our technology takes a sledgehammer to the bottleneck, while dramatically lowering power consumption and avoiding other complexities that traditional Moore’s Law scaling has not been able to solve in the silicon world.
We are driving development and growth around three verticals – Data Communications, Sensing and Displays. We are accelerating the evaluation of our technology beyond VCSEL based data communications through potential partnerships and joint development programs, while maintaining our operational focus on Data Communications.
For each of our markets, POET is about to roll out an unrivaled opto-electronic device and process platform that enables low power, minimized size and component cost for smart optical components. POET’s goal in each of them is to provide data management at the speed of light and the cost of copper.
The multi-billion-dollar Data Communications market is a particular focus for POET. Data centers are enduring an excruciating pain point in terms of power. Energy Management costs are approaching 50-60% of the cost of operating a Data Center today. Each watt of heat that does not have to be rejected from the rack could be worth about $10 per month in operating costs for a data center. A single copper direct attach cable burns about 3W of power per end – so a total of 6W per cable. Lets take a single mega datacenter with 10000 servers and 100000 copper links. If you can save 5W of power per copper link used in this one Data Center, this could easily translate into 500,000W of saved energy or $50 million per year in saved operating expense. And that is for a single mega data center.
For data centers, power has become critically important. Historically, the way to solve power problems is integrating multiple components monolithically on a single chip — in short, what has driven silicon technology for years. Now the optics world is primed for a similar transition to integrated solutions. POET offers the only integrated platform with gallium arsenide and optics. Critically, POET uniquely attacks the cost equation at the component level, the wafer-scale-packaging level and at the wafer-scale-test level — which translates into an overall cost that becomes competitive with copper technology. This is the key to the performance of optics at the price of copper. Other ancillary benefits of optics are lower weight, higher flexibility, smaller size and less Electro-Magnetic Interference -- all of which are becoming significant pain points in high density installations.
Photonics is experiencing a post-telecom second wave of growth – this one, fueled by consumers engaged in always-on social networking, cloud computing, SaAS and the ubiquitous devices that are central to our lives. Thus, progress in the electronics, optics and the semiconductor industry continues to heavily influence and be influenced by day-to-day life -- in the way we work, communicate and entertain ourselves.
The tangible impact of the ongoing mobility revolution is an explosion in the use of Software as a Service. SaAS manifests itself in the form of apps on the smart phone. But behind the app’s apparent simplicity is an ever-growing need for significant background computations and communications, typically carried out in the cloud. Thus, SaAs, Social Networking, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things and the growth of mega-datacenters are galvanizing a renewed growth spurt in photonics. Investments by Web2.0 companies in mega-datacenters and supporting networking infrastructure have created a new and very dynamic segment in the optical components and modules market.
To capitalize on these megatrends, POET is also working to accelerate our evaluation of an expanded product road map to include display and sensing technology.
As we enter this next phase of significant Photonics growth in the industry, the trend is towards integrated photonics. Integration has always been the answer to lower cost and improved performance in the world of semiconductor electronics - and we are only now beginning to apply these principles to opto-electronics. We believe POET holds the pole position in this race.