A low-cost, low-energy device which will help data centre technology suppliers increase their computing power and reduce energy consumption has won CSIRO backing.
The Australian Silicon Photonics team at RMIT developed the novel device which replaces electronic interconnects with photonic links.
The RMIT team is one of 10 (and the only Victorian team) to win backing from national sci-tech accelerator, ‘ON’. CSIRO launched ON in July 2015 as part of its strategy to boost Australia’s innovation performance by creating connections between disciplines, sectors, science and business.
Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell, who heads the RMIT team, said the devices would help data centre technology suppliers such as Intel, Broadcom, Cisco and Juniper.
"This will help our customers’ customers, the internet and cloud computing giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple, support continued growth in today’s internet and cloud computing applications.
"It will also enable new applications such as autonomous vehicles and the internet of things.
"Our devices enable cost-effective, low-power, high-capacity ‘multi-lane’ photonic links within data centres," he said.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall praised the 10 successful teams.
"The impact these innovations could deliver is enormous and will be felt by all Australians in the form of new jobs, new ways to address some of our biggest social challenges and new opportunities to help industries transitioning disruption to compete and grow.
"For too long, great science and technology has been trapped on the lab bench, not because it lacked potential, but because something was missing in the system – ON fills that gap.
"ON empowers Australia’s researchers with the entrepreneurial skills to understand the customer first, and how to deliver maximum national benefit."
The 10 winning teams, drawn from an initial field of 40, were selected by ON’s industry mentor network and an expert judging panel following a two-day boot camp in Sydney.
ON Accelerate3 will begin on 16 January and will run for 12 weeks in hubs across the country, where the teams will develop business planning, commercialisation and pitching skills. Each team receives $15,000 to cover expenses.
The program culminates in "ON Demo Night", where teams will pitch their innovations to an audience of industry experts, investors and potential partners for further funding and support for commercialisation.
Story: David Glanz