Rockley Photonics Receives Prestigious 2021 IEEE Best Paper Award for Work on Co-Packaged Optics

Posted Jun 22, 2021

The IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc) announced that the 2021 Charles Kao Award for Best Optical Communications & Networking Paper has been awarded to a team of Rockley Photonics authors for their paper entitled “Reimagining Datacenter Topologies with Integrated Silicon Photonics,” published in the July 2018 edition of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking (JOCN).

The paper presents Rockley Photonics’ pioneering work in the field of co-packaged optics (CPO), demonstrating the technical feasibility of integrating CMOS switching functionality with single-mode optical interfaces within the same package.

“IEEE awards represent the pinnacle of technological achievement and we’re extremely proud of our team’s success,” said Dr Andrew Rickman, chief executive, Rockley Photonics. “Co-packaging optics with electronics enables us to rearchitect the datacenter network to achieve significant efficiency gains in terms of data processing and power usage. 

Rockley is leveraging CPO to design high-density pluggable optical modules with at least 800Gb/s of capacity.

The IEEE Communications Society Awards Committee evaluates nominated papers based on the extent to which the works open new lines of research, envision bold approaches to optical communication and networking, formulate new problems to solve, and essentially enlarge the field of optical communications and networking. Papers published in the prior three calendar years of JOCN are eligible for the award. The key selection criteria are quality, exposition, novelty, and impact.

This work establishes the capability of Rockley Photonics’ unique silicon photonics platform to address next-generation data communications. Rockley is in the process of leveraging its versatile platform in the consumer healthcare space, which it believes will drive wafer volumes and economies of scale that will ultimately benefit a variety of market verticals.

In March, Rockley Photonics entered into a definitive agreement to combine with SC Health Corp. (“SC Health”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company.