Intel's Silicon Photonics Solutions Group has been announced as the winner of the Optical Society's (OSA) Paul F Foreman Team Engineering Excellence Award, for its years of developmental work in silicon photonics which is set to transform the architecture of data centres. The award, which recognises major contributions in optical engineering, will be presented in October during a plenary session at OSA’s Annual Meeting − Frontiers in Optics − in Arizona, USA.
The Group was announced as the winner for its ‘12+ years of innovation in the research and development of a revolutionary 4x25G silicon photonics, fully integrated, optical transceiver that is designed to help change the way data centres are architected.’
To replace the conventional method of transmitting data, consisting of copper cables that carry electrical signals, the Silicon Photonics Group develops silicon optical devices that use light to transmit huge amounts of data over a thin optical fibre, at high speeds and with extremely low power.
After nearly a decade of research and innovation to prove the viability of the technology, Intel created the Silicon Photonics Solutions Group in 2012 to move the project into production. The project was started and is led by Mario Paniccia, Intel Fellow and general manager of the Silicon Photonics Solutions Group. ‘We are humbled and honored to be recognised by OSA for such a prestigious award,’ said Paniccia. ‘It is the result of many years of hard work from a talented team.’
Since its inception, the group has achieved a number of milestones, including creating the world’s first silicon-based optical data interconnect with integrated lasers and the foremost electrically-driven hybrid silicon laser. Last year, Intel announced a collaboration with Facebook to define the next generation of rack technologies used to power the world's largest data centre.
OSA's award is named in honour of Paul F Forman, an optics innovator and co-founder of Zygo, whose 'approach exemplified team achievements', recognises technical achievements in optical engineering as well as contributions to society such as education, publication and management, and furthering public appreciation of optical engineering.
‘Contributions made by the Intel group to the field of optical engineering is truly remarkable,’ said OSA president Philip Bucksbaum. ‘[Intel’s] Silicon Photonics Solutions Group continues to redefine how optical communications enables high-speed data transmission in today’s interconnected world.’