The £600k TITAN project will develop PCSELs for low-power consumption, hyperscale data centre applications.

Vector Photonics has received £600k for the newly awarded TITAN project, developing PCSELs for low-power consumption, optical interconnections between servers in hyperscale data centres. Of the total project value, £300k has come from Innovate UK’s Investor Partnership Programme. This has been match-funded by private investment from UKI2S, a specialist, deep-tech seed fund for UK-based, research spinouts; the Scottish Growth Scheme, managed through Foresight Group Equity Finance; and Equity Gap, an angel syndicate investing in emerging Scottish businesses.

Neil Martin, CEO of Vector Photonics, said, “The rising power usage of hyperscale data centres is being driven by escalating demand from network connected devices, such as smartphones, PCs and the IoT. Hyperscale data centres currently rely on high-performance lasers for the optical interconnects between servers. These lasers require so much electrical power to operate, that it is the heat they create, and the energy used by the systems which cool them, which has become the limiting factor to any increases in optical performance.

“The TITAN project will fund the early-stage development of PCSELs, which aim to solve this major heat problem. PCSELs require only half the electrical power of the incumbent lasers, for the equivalent system performance. Less heat is produced and less energy is used for cooling. Since we anticipate the system optical performance requirements of next-generation, hyperscale data centres increasing in future, it is only low-power consumption systems using PCSELs that can realistically facilitate this increase.”

Project TITANs full name is PhoTonIc CrysTal LAsers for EtherNet applications.

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