Pilot NSW–Israel research project could revolutionise computing technologies

5 Dec 2013

The State Government will contribute $300,000 to a highly-promising photonics research project between New South Wales and Israel. 

World-leading researchers from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) at the University of Sydney and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, aim to develop ground-breaking on-chip communications systems for next generation computers. 

Such chip-based optical interconnects would revolutionise computing – dramatically increasing the available bandwidth and, therefore, processing speed. 

The three-year pilot will be funded by the State Government's Research Attraction and Acceleration Program. 

Health Minister Jillian Skinner, who will launch the CUDOS-Technion project today, said it could have far-reaching technological impacts. 

"CUDOS and Technion researchers already have reputations as champions in nanophotonics and optical physics – both in terms of fundamental discoveries and technological impact in areas ranging from communications, to defence and security, and medical imaging," Minister Skinner said. 

"NSW and Israel have proven research strengths in the fascinating field of photonics, share similar academic and industrial landscapes, and possess well-matched entrepreneurial cultures driving innovation. 

"That is why the State Government, through the Office of Science and Research, will contribute $300,000 over three years towards this collaborative research pilot. 

"This is a relatively small investment, but has the potential to reap significant rewards for NSW through scientific breakthroughs and commercialisation outcomes," she said. 

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, said the project is tremendously exciting. 

"This project, put simply, focuses on developing technologies through controlling light and using light to carry information and do computations on that information," Professor O'Kane said. 

"These extraordinarily talented researchers from both institutions will come together in a bid to develop lightbased communications systems, which sit on the surface of a computer chip, to drive the next generation of computers," she said. 

CUDOS is a research consortium of seven Australian universities based at the University of Sydney. It is a world leader in research in on-chip photonics, for all-optical signal processing. 

The Technion was recently ranked sixth in the world for entrepreneurship and innovation, and was awarded the Centre of Excellence for Photonics Research, to be based at the Technion.