October 11 2011: An Indian-American and an Indian Institute of Technology( Kharagpur) alumnus is spear heading developments which might see the large scale deployment of optical devices rather than copper wiring to carry data from one board to another or even from one core to another within a chip. This could lead to huge energy savings that could see photons or packets of light become the new green technology to carry information electronically. The recent visit to the US of Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee helped highlight the work being done at two American technology companies: PhotonIC Corp., and AIPIC Corp, both founded by Dr Raj Dutt who did his basic engineering degree at IIT Kharagpur in 1971 and followed this with a doctorate in experimental fluid mechanics at the University of Southern California.
In 1999 Dr Dutt entered the as-yet nascent field of photonics and since then his companies have pioneered technologies that are finding their first commercial applications in high-end military systems. The world’s most advanced military aircraft, the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is may be the first to make a massive switch from conventional cabling to fibre optics, while using a computer chip developed at APIC that can transmit 32 digital signals simultaneously on a single fibre.
“By using different wavelengths, or colors, of a laser, any number of signals can travel inside one fiber, says Dr Dutt.
Apic’s prototype digital transmitters and receivers are being tried out at the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter facility in Fort Worth, Texas. “We’re trying to get photonics to become a staple diet for military systems,” Dutt told National Defence Magazine ( March 2011), “The technology is now reaching a level of maturity where we see some of these things transitioning into platforms.” http://www.photonic-corp.com/national-defense-mar-2011.htm
As the technology has matured it is now entering the commercial realm with almost unlimited potential for use across almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum through APIC’s commercial arm – PhotonIC. “Our experience is in designing and producing cost saving, light weight components for rugged, durable advanced integrated electro-photonic components of fiber-optic local area networks for the Department of Defense,” says Dr. Dutt “This innovative technology has given us a considerable lead in producing state-of-the-art photonics for a potentially huge commercial marketplace.”
APIC Tech Note: How we do it: http://www.apichip.com/how.html
Link to PhotonIC Corp: http://www.photonic-corp.com/