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Lumentum and Ayar Labs collaborate on laser sources


Companies to work together on CW-WDM MSA-compliant external laser sources to power Ayar Labs’ optical I/O solution

Photonics firm Lumentum and chip-to-chip optical connectivity company Ayar Labs have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to deliver CW-WDM MSA (Continuous-Wave Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) compliant external laser sources in high volume.

These light sources are critical to power Ayar Labs’ optical I/O solution which delivers breakthrough bandwidth, energy efficiency, and latency benefits for computing and networking over current short-reach copper links today.

“Co-packaged optics to replace traditional copper interconnects is a massive new market opportunity broadly recognized by the industry and one that Lumentum is well-positioned to address with our proven laser technologies and manufacturing scale,” said Walter Jankovic, SVP and general manager of Datacom at Lumentum. “Ayar Labs is a leader in the development and commercialisation of this market opportunity and we believe that working together, we can accelerate this technology transition for the benefit of all.”

“Since our founding, Ayar defined optical I/O as the disruptive transition from copper and electrons to fiber optics and photons for short-reach data communication,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO at Ayar Labs. “Ayar Labs’ patented silicon photonics technology and new industry standards like the CW-WDM MSA are critical to this transition, as is the development of the manufacturing, supply chain, and packaging ecosystem to cost-effectively deliver the solution at scale in the millions of units. Lumentum is one of the largest and most efficient laser manufacturers in the world and will provide the proven capability to address the volume, quality, and reliability requirements of our optical I/O solution.”

Last year, Ayar Labs demonstrated its 64-wavelength WDM optical source running at temperatures up to 100 degC. This new announcement follows recent news of a strategic collaboration between Ayar Labs and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for next-generation data centre architectures and networking with optical I/O, along with related news from GlobalFoundries for a first-of-its-kind silicon photonics manufacturing platform, GF Fotonix, needed to address market demand for these solutions. Ayar Labs and Lumentum are Promoter Members, and GlobalFoundries and HPE are Observer Members of the CW-WDM MSA.

The CW-WDM MSA (Continuous-Wave Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) was formed to standardize WDM CW sources in the O-band for emerging advanced integrated optics applications that are expected to move to 8, 16, and 32 wavelengths. Such higher wavelength counts are needed for emerging applications such as silicon photonics (SiPh) based high-density co-packaged optics, optical computing, and AI, and enable a leap in performance, efficiency, cost, and bandwidth scaling compared with previous technology generations.

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