Pasadena-based Rockley Cozies Closer to Hentong For Cash, Production Capacity

Published : Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 5:57 AM

Pasadena-based Rockley Photonics has expanded its strategic relationship with China-based Hengton Optic Electric., a move that will bring cash and added manufacturing capacity to its push for growth.

Rockley supplies a silicon photonics platform for optical input/output in sensor systems and communications networks.

“Combining Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engine and our fully integrated silicon photonics platform with Hengtong’s world-leading manufacturing capability will deliver the lowest-power and most cost-effective transceiver in the market,” Rockley Chairman and CEO Andrew Rickman said. “It is a significant step towards furthering our mission to make photonics as pervasive as microelectronics.”

Rockley-Hengtong launched the joint venture in 2017, and is now increasing its portfolio to develop, manufacture and sell 400G DR4 transceivers utilizing Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engines, according to a company statement.

As part of the deal, Hengtong will invest $30m in Rockley’s Series E funding round.

“This new funding provides us with significant capital to move to the next stage of our business plan,” Rockley’s chief finance officer Mahesh Karanth said. “We will accelerate volume manufacturing of Rockley’s LightDriver Optical Engine and develop next-generation sensors and communications products.”

Karanth added the technology will help meet the new connectivity requirements for data centers, supporting cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The company said emerging applications like AI, machine learning, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) and 5G wireless are driving network traffic to unprecedented levels, increasing bandwidth requirements.

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