Lucent boss claims UK leads in optoelectronics

Lucent boss claims UK leads in optoelectronics
Roy Rubenstein Optoelectronics is the fastest growing sector in the European networking market and the UK is leading the way with the technology. This is the claim of John Hughes, president of Lucent Technologies’ microelectronics group, Europe. “The UK has sort of established itself as one of the pre-eminent centres of the world in terms of optoelectronic research,” he said. Hughes cited the University of East Anglia and the “outstanding work” in optoelectronics being done at Southampton as examples. The UK’s strong industrial optoelectronics base due to the presence of companies like Hewlett-Packard is another factor, resulting in a pool of experienced people. Another example pointing to the UK’s strength includes the recent investment by Intel and Cisco in Bookham Technology, the UK opto-component manufacturer. “When you look around, frankly the UK is by quite a long way the location of choice,” said Hughes referring to Lucent’s recent decision to set up its optoelectronics design centre in Ascot. Overall the optoelectronic market is seeing growth of 24 per cent which Hughes describes as relatively modest. “The high end of the market is growing very strongly and that is the area in which we play,” he said. The company is currently working on advanced amplifier designs and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) equipment. l The patent and intellectual property specialist BTG has signed an agreement with BT to commercialise its set of optical device patents. BTG will seek licensees for the patents which cover quantum well electro-absorption optical modulators.


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