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China's successful development of superphoton chips: it is expected to revolutionize wireless communication and AI

Jessie March 08, 2024

Recently, according to media reports, the team of Wang Cheng, associate professor of the City University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, used lithium niobate as a platform to develop a microwave photon chip with faster processing speed and lower energy consumption, which can use optics for ultra-fast analog electronic signal processing and computing.

The chip is 1,000 times faster than traditional electronic processors, consumes less energy and has a wide range of applications, including 5/6G wireless communication systems, high-resolution radar systems, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and image and video processing.

The Tachyphoton chip achieves this superior performance through an integrated microwave photon processing engine based on a thin-film lithium niobate platform that performs multipurpose processing and computation of analog signals.

The upstream of the optical module industry is mainly manufacturers of optical devices, optical chips, electrical chips, PCB and structural parts, as well as optical module packaging and test equipment suppliers. The downstream is mainly communication equipment manufacturers, optical module application of telecommunications equipment and data communication equipment is mainly used in 5G, optical fiber broadband, data center, consumer electronics and automatic driving and other fields.

The research team has developed a world-leading microwave photonic chip that is 1,000 times faster than existing processors. Therefore, from the perspective of the optical module industry chain, optical chip technology is in the upstream link of the industry chain.

The research results of Wang's team not only opened up a new field of research, namely lithium niobate microwave photonics, making microwave photonic chips smaller, with high signal fidelity and low latency performance, but also a breakthrough in chip level analog electronic processing and computing engines.

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