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NTT launches NTT Innovative Devices to advance photonic-electronic convergence hardware

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The company says its PEC devices, which include silicon photonics-based optical circuits, will advance the deployment of its Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN)

NTT Corporation has announced the establishment of NTT Innovative Devices Corporation, to develop, design and manufacture photonic-electronic convergence (PEC) devices. The company says these devices will advance its deployment of its Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative to build high-speed, high-capacity, ultra-low-latency, and low-power-consumption global communications and computing infrastructure through optics-based technologies.

Formed out of the integration of NTT Electronics and an R&D unit within NTT Laboratories, NTT Innovative Devices will maintain a global presence, manufacturing PEC devices in Japan while operating sales companies in the US, Europe, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. It currently has more than 500 employees.

“The creation of NTT Innovative Devices marks a major milestone in a global deployment of photonics-based networking and computing,” said the company's president and CEO, Hidehiro Tsukano. “Each device manufactured by our organisation is a testament to decades of fundamental research and development undertaken by NTT's scientists and our collaborators. We are advancing and contributing to the larger societal goals of IOWN: creating a better, more sustainable, more equitable future for all.”

According to NTT, the PEC hardware manufactured by NTT Innovative Devices combines both optical and electronic solutions into a single packaged device capable of higher performance, higher functionality, and a more compact size. The company says the PEC device’s benefits include the reduction of power and heat generated by the conventional electronics of network and computing equipment and other devices, while at the same time delivering extremely high speeds with low latency over long distances.

Today, NTT says it is manufacturing the second-generation iteration of the PEC devices named CoPKG, which combines digital signal processing (DSP) and silicon photonics-based optical circuits into one device, operating with a transmission capacity of 0.4T to 0.8T across transmission distances of 40 to 300 km.

In 2025, NTT Innovative Devices plans to manufacture a third-generation device, an optical engine operating at a transmission capacity of 3.2T across a transmission distance of between 10 m to 2 km. Additional iterations are planned for 2028 and 2032, with transmission speeds of 5T (integrated in the device width of 5 mm) and 15T (width of 2 mm), respectively, and transmission distances of 1 cm to 1 km and approximately 1 cm, respectively.

While current-generation PEC devices from NTT Innovation are built for implementation in relatively long-distance communications and datacentre interconnecting equipment, future implementation is planned for use within datacentres, with future generations of PEC devices for servers, vehicles, personal computers and other devices including smartphones.

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