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NTT Innovative Devices ― Accelerating the introduction of optoelectronic devices and developing new markets: President Hidehiro Tsukano discusses business strategy


NTT Innovative Devices (which was launched in June 2023) was merged with NTT Electronics (NEL), which designs, develops, manufactures, and sells hardware products such as optoelectronic components and digital signal processors (DSPs), on August 1. On September 6, President Hidehiro Tsukano and Vice President Masahito Tomizawa held a press briefing where they discussed the company's business strategy and business development goals, including its roadmap for the development of optoelectronic convergence devices. The company was launched as an advanced technology company to plan, design, develop, manufacture, and sell optoelectronic fusion devices, which are at the core of the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) concept promoted by NTT .

Established by separating the research unit to develop the optoelectronic fusion technology from NTT Laboratories and integrating with the existing NEL. The name of NEL, the surviving company, was changed to NTT Innovative Devices, and a new start was made on August 1. President Tsukano said, "Moore's law, which states that semiconductor miniaturization and integration will double in a short period of time (18-24 months), has already reached its limits, and we are now in an era of pursuing of devices that go beyond Moore.
The technological directions we are pursuing include semiconductor process miniaturization (7 nm → 5 nm → 3 nm → 2 nm → 1.4 nm → 1 nm → Å), ultrahigh-density packaging (2.5D and 3D packaging), and the introduction of optoelectronic fusion technology (optical waveguide and optical alignment)." In this context, the company stated that it is a company that makes modules for photoelectric fusion devices and components for them, and that as a parts manufacturing company, it will continue to develop the market for future modules.

The optoelectronic fusion devices being developed by the company consist of three key devices: logic ICs, analog ICs, and silicon photonics modulation chips/ thin-film laser chips. The challenge is to make these devices thinner and smaller in the future. Therefore, the company's long-term strategy is to introduce photoelectric fusion devices into semiconductor packages by making them considerably smaller and thinner and promoting the use of chiplets (i.e., commercialization of products by making individual elemental components and connecting them side by side on a substrate).

The roadmap is from the first-generation optoelectronic convergence device, the Coherent Optical SubAssembly (COSA), to the CoPKG (commercially available in 2023), which combines the second-generation optoelectronic convergence device and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) into a small package, and to the third-generation system, which additionally incorporates an optical engine (to be commercialized in 2025). Future plans include expanding to fourth- and fifth-generation systems (to be commercialized in 2028 and 2032, respectively) in which optoelectronic convergence devices are placed on the edge of semiconductor packages or a silicon die edge within semiconductor packages.

By making ultrasmall and thin chiplets, the company will move photoelectric fusion devices structurally closer from modules to semiconductors, aiming to introduce photoelectric fusion chiplets not only in long-distance communications but also over a wider range of computing areas.

"In the future, we would like to promote the development of photoelectric fusion devices, which are at the core of the IOWN, and introduce photoelectric fusion devices from the long-distance communication area (high-capacity, long-distance transmission) of the NEL era to the wider computing area (high-capacity, short-distance transmission), such as data centers, to explore new markets and widely implement the IOWN technology in society. We are aiming for sales in the region of several hundred billion yen as soon as possible." Said Tsukano, expressing his outlook.

He also conveyed his dream that in the future, people around the world will be able to benefit from the power of light with its low power consumption, low latency, and high transmission capacity through the implementation of optoelectronic fusion devices in various systems used by individuals, such as smartphones and personal computers.

【Overview of NTT Innovative Devices】

The head office is located at Aquaria Tower Yokohama, 1-1-32 Shin-Urashimacho, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa. Has capital of approximately 6.6 billion yen (100% owned by NTT). It has group companies for handling sales, manufacturing, and technology. As of August 1, the number of employees is 566 (group total: 1,148); the sales in FY2022 were 37.9 billion yen.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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