Kyocera’s On-Board Optics Module - big bandwidth, low power

11th November 2022
Sheryl Miles

Kyocera has developed an On-Board Optics Module that achieves a bandwidth of 512Gbps (gigabits per second). The module is expected to support high-speed network applications, such as data centres.

Additionally, by converting electrical signals into optical signals, the module uses much less power than conventional alternatives and will also help decrease power consumption and promote sustainability.

Kyocera’s prototype module is miniaturised for installation on a printed circuit board near the processor, allowing electronic data to be converted into optical signals instantaneously. In addition, the product is designed to create unprecedented improvements in signal-to-noise ratio, virtually eliminating the signal loss caused by conventional electrical conductors. As a result of these technological advances, Kyocera’s On-Board Optics Module has achieved world-record bandwidth of 512Gbps and is expected to help data centres and supercomputers save power while increasing bandwidth and data transfer rates.

Video: Introducing Kyocera’s New On-Board Optics Module

Development Background

AI, IoT, and expanding 5G communication services are creating a rapid increase in internet traffic worldwide and unprecedented demand for high-speed, large-bandwidth data centres. However, the data centre industry is fast becoming a leading consumer of electricity, so reducing their power consumption is also a major issue for society.

Kyocera’s on-board optics module features a miniaturised form factor that can be board-mounted inside the server near the processor, enabling power-saving signal transmission by converting electronic data into optical signals instantaneously. In addition, the prototype’s transmission bandwidth of 512Gbps will substantially improve data centre speed and capacity.

In the future, to support innovations like autonomous driving and the metaverse, more data centres will need to be built to reduce latency and shorten the distance to end-users. This module contributes to miniaturisation by achieving high speed and large capacity in a small form factor, allowing data centres to be built in urban and other higher-population-density areas.

Prototype product features

Power savings

Copper conductors are usually needed to send and receive electrical signals; however, even the best copper conductors introduce electrical resistance that results in signal loss. Kyocera’s new on-board optics module converts the electrical signal from the processor into a low-loss optical signal on the circuit board. In addition, data can be received as optical signals until just before reaching the processor, further reducing signal loss and power consumption.

Huge bandwidth, larger capacity

The largest bandwidth among on-board optics on the market today is 100Gbps; Kyocera’s module achieves a record 512Gbps bandwidth. Such large bandwidth is possible because the module uses a Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) mounting substrate developed by Kyocera, which offers exceptional material characteristics, such as fine wiring, low dielectric constant, multilayering, and thermal conductivity.

Space Savings

Kyocera’s module measures 43.5 x 30 x 8.1mm, allowing 512Gbps bandwidth for high-capacity data transmission even in a limited space. This will help customers build faster, more space-efficient data centres.

Overview of Kyocera’s On-Board Optical Module


Future Development

Kyocera will continue to test On-Board Optics Module technology with partner companies to achieve commercialisation as early as possible. In addition, they will continue to engage in R&D to develop new products that contribute to solving the challenges of today’s ever-evolving digital society.

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