AFR Panel Discussion Unveils Insights into Future of TFLN Technology at LiNC 2023 Dec 14, 2023

Dec. 14, 2023 – Advanced Fiber Resources (AFR) orchestrated a dynamic panel discussion at the LiNC 2023, where leading experts delved into the forefront of TFLN (Thin Film Lithium Niobate) technology. Moderated by Dr. Dennis Zhou, AFR's Vice President, the panel featured esteemed figures including Prof. Marko Lončar from Harvard University, Prof. Xinlun Cai from Sun Yat-Sen University, Prof. Xin Ou from Shanghai Inst. Microsys. Inform. Technol., CAS, and Dr. Hui Hu from NanoLN, covering a diverse spectrum of topics.

AFR Industry Forum Panel Discussion

Dr. Dennis Zhou initiated the dialogue by inquiring about the breakthroughs expected in the coming years, in the rapidly evolving landscape of TFLN technology.

Prof. Marko Lončar expressed, "My focus is on research opportunities and scientific advancements, particularly in commercializing this technology, I'm particularly excited about its applications in photonics. Optical computing has been around for a long time, and TFLN holds promising potential in this realm."

Prof. Xin Ou concurred with Prof. Loncar, underscoring the importance of research breakthroughs and cost reduction, particularly in the context of wafer costs. “The point is how we can make it more competitive and acceptable for the industry and products compared to other materials such as InP and SiPh..” He said.

Addressing the significant barriers hindering the promotion of TFLN technology, Prof. Marko Lončar identified three key challenges: a scarcity of time and skilled personnel, reliability concerns in the manufacturing process, and cost considerations.

Prof. Xinlun Cai echoed Prof. Loncar's sentiments, emphasizing the necessity of finding more applications to accelerate TFLN adoption. He identified data centers and AI clusters as potential markets, highlighting the importance of product maturity and end-user education. ”I’m a big believer of this technology. TFLN can go very far, it will be the winner if applied to 200G+ transfers. Companies like HyperLight, Liobate and AFR are shaping this young industry, we are kind of like doing experiment, trying to find a way to lead the future.” He said.

Discussing the opportune moment for TFLN modulators to surpass incumbent technologies, Prof. Xinlun Cai identified the rapidly evolving landscape, citing the unexpected rise of AI clusters and the urgent demand for 800G. He highlighted the current focus on 1.6T as a new opportunity, requiring extensive work for qualification, mass production, and market capture.

As the panel concluded, participants offered collaborative strategies to expedite TFLN technology development. Dr. Hui Hu underscored the importance of enhanced communication and cooperation within the industry, while Prof. Xin Ou advocated for the inclusion of representatives from the system and investment fields to strengthen the industry chain. Dr. Dennis Zhou proposed collaborative efforts with standard organizations to establish and promote industry standards. Meanwhile, he also forecasted that there will be one forum and one technical session hosted by HyperLight and AFR during OFC 2024 in San Diego, USA. It is anticipated that this event will foster additional cooperation and inspire innovative ideas.

About AFR

Advanced Fiber Resources (AFR) designs and manufactures standard and custom components, modulators, and provides contract manufacturing solutions to our customers. Our products are widely used in fiber laser, telecom, data center, fiber sensing, autonomous driving, biomedical equipment, as well as research institutes and universities around the globe. AFR’s products have been sold to customers in more than 40 countries and regions worldwide.

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