Massachusetts Patent of the Month – October 2021

Optical fibers are used to send information in telecommunications, but each fiber can only send a set amount of data. This amount can be increased using multiple optical signals, each with a different wavelength. A WDM (wavelength division multiplex) can be used at one end of an optical fiber to combine light from a group of optical fibers into the single optical fiber. A WDM at the other end of the fiber can separate the signals into another group of fibers. Acacia Communications, Inc. has developed a rare-earth ion-doped chip which can be used to amplify these waveguides.

Their solution uses a silicon photonics chip and a rare-earth-ion-doped waveguide amplifier chip coupled together. On its own, the silicon photonic is not able to efficiently introduce optical power due to the low power requirements in most applications. The addition of the waveguide amplifier can overcome this, but most attempts have used materials that require even more power to operate properly. These materials have band gaps that prevent it from effectively amplifying with the silicon chip. Acacia has discovered that a rare-earth-doped waveguide amplifier, especially one made of erbium, can be well integrated into a silicon photonics chip. Their design can also use neodymium, ytterbium, thulium, praseodymium, or holmium. Acacia has worked towards developing low power digital signal processing technology with these integrated chips, leveraging their plentiful experience in the industry to create this extreme efficiency. The rare-earth waveguide amplifier can better integrate with the silicon photonics chips and increase the available data transfer and power.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts