Huawei acquires UK photonic research lab CIP Technologies

26 January 2012 |


In a move to deepen its optical research and development capabilities, Huawei has acquired the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP).

Huawei has 23 R&D centres globally, and invests approximately 10% of its revenue back into research each year. In 2010, that equated to $2.8 billion.

CIP Technologies will be Huawei’s first dedicated fibre optic R&D facility, according to Ed Brewster, communications director for Huawei UK.

CIP claims to be conducting between five and 15 different optical research projects, with areas of application in the core network, the metro network and the submarine network.

One of its main areas of research and development is the integration of active and passive components on the same circuit board.

Peter Wharton, CEO of CIP Technologies, explains: “This involves the integration of active components that generate light, like lasers, and passive components that guide the light, like waveguides. In order to get the yield up and the costs down, you want to reduce power consumption and that means reducing heat. It’s therefore very important to reach that level of integration between the active and the passive on the same circuit board.”

CIP is also researching different material systems that don’t need to be cooled, which it claims could make a big difference to the power consumption of the network.

CIP was acquired from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA). While neither party would disclose the amount paid for CIP, Brewster did say that Huawei has spent $10 million on CIP, which includes “some investment that we’ve put into the business, as well as the acquisition cost”.