KD Launches Optical Interconnect Lab in Spain

July 10, 2024

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KD, formerly known as KDPOF, has recently undergone a rebranding as it inaugurates a cutting-edge prototyping laboratory and assembly and test facility in Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain.

The establishment of the optical interconnect lab, situated in close proximity to the company's headquarters and previously outlined by eeNews Europe, comes on the heels of a substantial €28 million funding injection from the European Commission under an IPCEI initiative. This investment sets the stage for the development of a state-of-the-art packaging factory dedicated to advanced optoelectronic devices. Furthermore, KD is introducing its inaugural prototype laboratory to conduct rigorous testing of its product lineup.

Anticipated to commence operations in 2025, the encapsulation and testing plant is slated to kick off production with a forthcoming transceiver IC tailored for high-speed optical communications in the automotive sector. This endeavor will leverage KD's expertise in optoelectronics packaging technology, positioning the company as a pivotal player in the European landscape.

Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KD, remarked, “Since our inception in 2010, we have been at the forefront of innovation, commitment, and excellence in the realm of high-speed optical networking solutions designed for challenging environments. This significant leap forward entails our transition from a fabless entity to the establishment of a high-capacity semiconductor manufacturing facility in close proximity to our headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid.”

“We are thrilled to spearhead the mass production of automotive optoelectronics in Spain, thereby diminishing reliance on Asian and American markets,” Pardo added.

Rubén Pérez-Aranda, CTO and Co-founder of KD, highlighted, “With the advent of our new IEEE Std 802.3cz compliant multi-gigabit optical transceivers, underpinned by a revolutionary approach integrating electronics, photonics, and optics, we have emerged as a global benchmark for robust communication solutions tailored to the most challenging environments. The time has come to revamp our corporate identity to mirror our accomplishments and future milestones.”

The IEEE Std 802.3cz standard places a strong emphasis on ensuring highly reliable conditions that support lifetimes exceeding 15 years, all while facilitating cost-effective, high-volume implementations. This standard delineates speeds ranging from 2.5 to 50 Gb/s per lane, with stringent automotive temperature specifications spanning from -40 °C to +105 °C. The maximum link distance is capped at 40 meters, incorporating 4 inline connectors. This approach is cost-effective due to the increased optical power budget, enabling the use of connectors with lower tolerances. Moreover, the widespread adoption of OM3 fiber ensures streamlined high-volume production.

By enhancing the communication channel to approach the Shannon limit, the theoretical maximum capacity, a simpler physical layer is achieved, characterized by reduced DSP/equalization complexity and the absence of echo cancellation. This translates to lower power consumption, decreased latency, a smaller silicon footprint, and an overall more economical solution. Notably, a dedicated Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) side channel is available to bolster dependability and streamline link management.

For more information, visit www.kd.tech.

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