This is a cross post from the Infinera boards for the benefit of those here that follow Infinera. For those that doesn’t know, I am very long INFN.
This is a white house press release. It is a few weeks old, but telling information on the future of state of microelectronics. Infinera is extremely well positioned. I’ve highlighted some of the key paragraphs below.
The new institute the Department of Defense is awarding today will focus on cutting-edge research in integrated photonics —using multiple units of light, on a single platform, to improve the performance and reliability of telecommunications, radar, lasers, and other technologies.
Photonics is the science of using and controlling photons—the smallest unit of light—to convey information and images. By shrinking electronic components like lasers and optical sensors to a scale hundreds of times smaller than a single living cell—and putting these components on a single platform—integrated photonics could advance technology in ways never before possible, including by:
o Revolutionizing long-haul telecommunications, enabling much more resilient fiber with much greater bandwidth
o Creating dramatic energy savings at high-performing data centers, which across the country now consume almost as much power each year as the entire state of New York.
o Dramatically improving medical technology—from “needleless” technologies for monitoring blood sugar levels, to cameras smaller than pills that travel within arteries, to substantially faster and lower-cost human genome sequencing.
o Improving security operations, with applications in radar, electronic warfare, imaging, sensing, and communication systems used across the entire spectrum of land, air, sea, and space-based platforms.
The new photonics institute is the sixth of nine announced as part of the National Network of Manufacturing Institutes (NNMI).
Bridging the gap between applied research and product development, each institute brings together companies, universities, other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key emerging technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the U.S.
This latest institute, a new public private partnership led by RF SUNY, will bridge advanced research and commercial product development, yielding critical defense and telecommunications advances—while also investing in education and workforce development to train and position the next generation of manufacturers in integrated photonics.
Just as integrated electronic circuits allowed for advanced processing in computers and cellphones, integrated photonic components can pack even more processing power into a single chip, creating new possibilities for computing and telecommunications. An emerging technology for carrying light-waves, integrated photonics has the potential to revolutionize entire industries—from increasing the carrying capacity of broadband communications ten-fold, to creating needle-free tests for common conditions like diabetes, and to improving imaging capabilities in defense operations.
The winning team, led by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (RF SUNY) and headquartered in Rochester, NY, includes the following 75 key partners and 49 additional consortia members:
The press release goes on to list all the parties involved in the consortium. No surprise, Infinera is one of the partner companies.
If we are to take stock in the significance of this public/private venture, the future state of microelectronics is the Photopic Integrated Circuit (the PIC), and its use in application will serve as the next hallmark of American innovation.
With hundreds of patents, trade secrets and their own US-based foundry, Infinera is by leaps and bounds ahead of the curve. All I can think of is the potential leadership role for Infinera in the industry of the future… and wow.