Photonics startup raises Series B funding for 5G and IoT

Photonics startup raises Series B funding for 5G and IoT

Business news |
By Wisse Hettinga

The undisclosed funding was led by new investor Innovation Industries, which typically invests from €1m to €5m. It will be used to accelerate the production ramp of the tunable optical interfaces that can save up to 90% of the cost of a link, manufacturing in Brixham, Devon in the South West UK, as well as for the development of future technologies. The company has previously raised $2.4m in grants and series A funding. 

“We are experiencing now in photonics what we saw in the electronics integration revolution last century. There the birth of the Integrated Circuit enabled the mass deployment of powerful solutions. At Effect Photonics we integrate all of the optical functions into a single chip and combine it with low-cost, non-hermetic packaging and automatic tuning. Thus DWDM, the proven solution for core and metro networks, is now simple, cost-effective and scalable enough for 5G infrastructure rollouts around the world,” said James Regan, CEO at Effect Photonics. 

Founded in 2010, the spinout of the Technical University of Eindhoven has developed highly integrated optical communications transeivers based on its Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical System-on-Chip technology that uses high-yielding building blocks within the wafer. Growing different quaternary alloys of Indium Phosphide (InP) on a single wafer means that all of the active and passive optical functions of a system can be created within a single chip, which is then combined with simple packaging, designed for high-volume, low-cost manufacture from the very start.

The key enabling technology for DWDM systems is full monolithic integration of all photonic components within a single chip and being able to produce these in volume with high yield at low cost. This allows the company to provide low cost optical sub-systems around standards such Small Formfactor Pluggable (SFP) for narrowband, high bandwidth connections between datacentres and back from mobile cell towers. The global market demand for optical transceivers is expected to grow to $12bn by 2023, up from $6bn in 2017 according to Lightcounting. The company has a deal with Skylane Optics to supply optical DWDM tunable SFP+ optical transceivers to telecom operators across Europe, North and South America.

This funding also allows us to really push forward with our next-generation technology programme to bring even more powerful optical systems to the edges of the network,” added CTO Boudewijn Docter.

Innovation Industries is an independent venture capital fund that combines company-building and venture investment through partnerships with all four Dutch technical universities – Eindhoven, Twente, Delft and Wageningen and applied research institute TNO.

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