EFFECT Photonics, a developer of highly touted DWDM optical communications products, has raised €31m in Series C funding. This adds to an already impressive Series B round of funding worth over eight million euros.
Their fiber optic variants have already been implemented in networks throughout Europe, upgrading and redesigning fibers as a solution for large-scale projects such as the transition from 4G to 5G. However, they also work to meet the needs of everyday users increasingly forced to work from home. This round of funding will assist in scaling the production of these existing products towards networks close to end-users.
“The network is like a road network,” explains EFFECT CTO Boudewijn Docter. “We are more like a rural network where the fiber is the same but what we do is allow fibers that are already in the ground to be upgraded so they can handle a higher capacity.”
Faster and more powerful renditions
The rest of the €31m will be used towards research and development for even faster and more powerful renditions. Previous technology in this space has been marred by less than sustainable production methods typically attributed to their reliance on external narrow-linewidth tunable lasers which waste light. The EFFECT answer to that problem is a non-hermetic Manta prototype that integrates high performance into a single chip, thereby reducing the high power consumption regularly attributed to similar technology – but more work is needed to produce it in the volume needed to satisfy the demand:
“We turned those chips into telecommunication products and transceivers – but we still need to assemble those. For that you need assembly equipment and test equipment,” says Docter. “When you are talking about very high-speed test equipment, that can be very expensive.”
The Series C funding included existing investors such as their co-sponsor, Smile Invest, Photon Delta (who also currently run the production of their products), and Innovative Industries.
Ever-increasing demand for faster bandwith
“What EFFECT Photonics has developed is a real platform technology, with which new products can rapidly be launched,” says Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries. “We are pleased to continue to support the company and see great potential for the future.”
According to Docter, with the ever-increasing demand for faster bandwidth, the future of these products, and indeed the fiber optic space as a whole, is now:
“There needs to be a new generation of transceivers in the next four to five years that can deliver even more bandwidth. We need to start those products today so they can be ready for production in two to three years,” says Docter.
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