Tech CEO calls for radical datacenter innovation in keynote at World Technology Mapping Forum, says polymers are the answer


Tech is continuously innovating so what’s the big deal? The issue is a coming change in the kind of innovation needed. “We’ve been moving fast in pretty much one direction for decades and that’s about to change”, says Michael Lebby, CEO of Lightwave Logic.

Several years ago, there was a sudden turn in the roadmap for transistors and IC’s that some called the demise of Moore’s Law. Now a similar end of the road is approaching for the interconnects between chips, including both electrical and photonic (optical) interconnects.

At the World Technology Mapping Forum’s latest working session held last week in Berlin, the participants agreed that radically different architectures and solutions will be needed during the next decade for a number of markets which has implications on technical decisions being made now.

Lebby, who chaired the Datacenter Applications session, also gave one of the keynotes ( where he called for radical innovation, specifically a shift to faster photonic components, a direction he exemplified with his company’s novel electro-optic polymers that promise 100 Gbps sub-volt operation.

“It’s pretty much accepted that 100 Gbps is about as fast as you want copper traces on circuit boards to go. When we get there, and people are already working on it, the path suddenly comes to a T-junction.  Some of the prevalent photonic technologies are also coming to a speed limit, so we’ve got just one generation to figure out what direction we should go when we reach the cross-roads.” 

The Forum began when two existing organizations that came out of the silicon photonics and indium phosphide communities recognized the urgency of addressing this navigational challenge together. Participants have now extended its scope beyond bilateral cooperation between these incumbent technologies to bring forward new innovative material systems including thin-film ferro-electrics, thin-film lithium niobate—and polymers.

Lightwave Logic is not the only company working on polymers for photonic interconnect, although it is the only one currently in the process of commercializing extremely high-speed devices using its own proprietary polymer material.  For higher performing, higher density equipment in networks and datacenters, there is broad interest in moving interconnect photonics much closer to the electronics switching chips in a new architecture called co-packaged optics.   In his talk Lebby pointed to the set of active and passive polymer devices and waveguides currently under development by a number of organizations as a promising way to implement co-packaged optics.

Following the conference, Lebby expressed satisfaction with the level of agreement amongst the participants. “We pretty much agreed that the target functionality for photonic interconnects is a 10-fold increase in raw data-rate and a 10-fold reduction in power consumption compared to today’s capabilities. It’s going to take radical innovation for this to happen. This is exactly what we at Lightwave Logic are targeting. While this is a big change, I’m quite confident we can get there given the activity in new directions such as advances in electro-optic polymers.”

For more information about Lightwave Logic, please visit the Company’s website at

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Lightwave Logic, Inc. is a development stage company moving toward commercialization of next generation photonic devices using its high-activity and high-stability organic polymers for applications in data communications and telecommunications markets. Photonic electro-optical devices convert data from electric signals into optical signals.  


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