Catapults

Data centres

Compound semiconductors are improving the performance and reducing the energy consumption of data centres worldwide. 

Meeting the data demands of next generation technologies

The demand for digital services has grown rapidly in the last decade, with a doubling of internet users and a 25-fold increase in global internet traffic.

Data centres are the backbone of communications networks and have grown exponentially as demand for the internet and streaming has risen. 

Data centres use a huge amount of energy to continuously run and to prevent the equipment from overheating. It is estimated that data centres account for around 1% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. 

Future technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) will need an enormous amount of computing power. Data centres will need to become much more efficient to deal with this added load. 

Compound semiconductors are being used to reduce the cooling requirements and energy consumption of data centres, generating cost savings and increasing the operating performance.  

 

Key technologies

Co-packaged optics 

Co-packaged optics has the potential to revolutionise the telecoms industry. It is the integration of optical components, such as lasers, directly onto a chip package with other electronic components. Using light instead of electricity allows for faster and more efficient communication.

Power modules

Power modules are used to control, convert or distribute electrical power efficiently and reliably in data centres. Power modules built using silicon carbide (SiC) are ideal for the high-voltage and high-temperature requirements of data centres.

VCSELs

Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) are used in data centres to transmit data at high speeds over short distances. VCSELs are lasers that emit light vertically from their surface. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) are used to make VCSELs.

  • Faster speeds
  • Less cooling
  • Reduced energy losses

Co-packaged optics and VCSELs will enable higher data transfer rates, increased bandwidths and lower latency, allowing operators to squeeze every bit of performance out of data centres.

Data centres use up to 40% of their energy for cooling. Silicon carbide (SiC) produces less heat and operates at higher temperatures, compared to silicon-based systems, so will lower the cooling requirements of data centres. 

Data centres use compound semiconductors in power supplies, voltage regulators, and DC-DC converters. They reduce energy and improve the efficiency and operation of servers and networking equipment. 

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RF & microwave communications

RF & microwave communications

Our radio frequency and microwave communications experts help optimise the performance and improve the energy efficiency of RF and microwave devices in future telecoms, space, defence and security industries.

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Photonics

Photonics

We are experts in the design, modelling, characterisation and validation of photonics devices, from laser emitters to photonic integrated circuits and quantum hardware.

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Power electronics

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