An Optical Update with TTM

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Immonen: There are customers who are really looking at this for in a high-end routing, switching and in server infrastructure. That means high volumes. Obviously, supercomputing is an example of a very niche market. We want to see the potential in the high-volume markets.

Matties: When will you make this technology available in the marketplace?

Immonen: That probably will happen in a time frame of two to four years.

Matties: Why is it taking so long?

Immonen: Copper has made its way. We predicted that beyond 10 Gbps, it would be all optical, but we were wrong. We were predicting something around 16-18 Gbps, and now we're seeing 25 Gbps coming. But as the links will be shorter, the loss budget will be tighter, and the overall expense due to various chipsets needed to get clean the signals is significantly higher, customers are forced to look at other alternatives including optical.

Matties: In the world of technology, four years is an eternity. Is there something that could come and just bump this out of its place before you get it to market?

Immonen: Previously, the question was rolling around, optics vs. copper. Now it's more a question of which kind of optics will push the market first: multi-mode or single-mode, simple flex solutions or embedded optics, and at which wavelength, application or distance? We cannot put all of our fruit in one basket, so we are also developing a variety of options, including those that support the emerging silicon photonics technology which has made significant breakthroughs in recent years and has a lot of expectations.

Matties: Is this something you're going to license to others, or is this going to be an exclusive process for TTM?

Immonen: This is one option, definitely, licensing technology to others.

Matties: Well, thanks for sharing this story with us and I look forward to future updates.

Immonen: Thank you very much.


Related Presentation: Development of Optical Interconnect PCBs for High Speed Electronic Systems - Fabricator's View 



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