After Juniper Networks announced in August that it had bought fabless silicon photonic platform designer Aurrion for an undisclosed sum there’s been little comment on what it will do with the acquisition.
But in an interview with Networkworld, CEO Rami Rahim expands a bit on his plans for the technology he’s gained. Founded in 2008 in Santa Barbara, Calif,. Aurrion says it has found a way to integrate InP-materials into a silicon process flow “to solve the fundamental deficiency with silicon photonics technology and enables the manufacturing of best-in-class optical solutions with a cost-effective process.”
In a news release announcing the deal Juniper [NYSE: JNPR] put it in a more elegant way: Aurrion has invented a way to improve the optoelectronics portion of data centre networking gear —the part that converts electricity to light — to reduce the cost per bit-per-second for equipment that transmits information over long distances and higher capacities for networking interfaces. That in particular benefits bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming, social networking and data center to data center traffic.
Aurrion had been partnering with Juniper its optoelectronic technology for more than two years before the deal.
Rahim told Networkworld he believes “we are potentially on the cusp of a real breakthrough that will transform the economics of the optics in networking equipment, which obviously will be of great interest to anybody that is building a large, mission-critical network.”
Because the IP and optical layers of networking equipment aren’t managed and administered as a single layer and need separate oversight teams there is wasted capacity, he said. particularly optical traffic going from one vendor’s gear to another’s and between the IP and optical layers. By combining, optimizing and automating management of the two layers capacity will be freed up.
However, first will have to come optical networking standard interfaces.