US-based incubator Atlantic Technology Ventures has signed an agreement to license optical technology from the University of Rochester, New York, for use in its refrigerated network kit.
The CryoComm programme involves the development of superconducting electronics technologies for high-speed, long-haul fibre optic telecoms links.
At Rochester, Professor Roman Sobolewski has developed a technology called magneto-optical modulator for superconducting digital output interface.
The technology uses magneto-optic material to modulate light at very low temperatures, using a magnetic field. Atlantic Technology hopes to use this technology to develop a switching device for CryoComm equipment.
Walter Glomb, vice-president of Atlantic Technology and president of the CryoComm division, said: "Prof Sobolewski has developed technology that we hope will take superconducting pulses and convert them into optical signals within the superconducting material. We intend to develop switches, routers and optical transport systems which operate at 160Gbit/s."
The agreement means that Atlantic Technology will support Prof Sobolewski's work as he evaluates potential materials for use in the CryoComm project.
Glomb said: "The work is in the very early stages at the moment as superconducting magneto-optical materials have not been very well explored yet.
"This is just one piece of a larger programme to develop all the high-speed optical components needed for the system. But our first goal is to demonstrate a working high-speed switch next year."