Lucent plans to increase the number of researchers involved in its optical networking efforts by 300 when it opens a new dedicated research and development (R&D) centre in North Carolina.
The centre, based in the hi tech Research Triangle, will employ a total of 500 engineers to develop the company's Wave Star family of optical networking or dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) products. Lucent will also pull in expertise from the nearby North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus.
Gerry Butters, president of Lucent's optical networking group, claimed: "Optical technology will be as important to the 21st century as electricity was to the 20th century."
The technology enables telecomms carriers to dramatically increase the capacity of their fibre optic networks by transmitting different wavelengths on the same fibre strand. Transmission rates of up to 400Gbps are expected, and according to figures from market researchers, Frost & Sullivan, the US market for such technology will be worth $1.6 billion this year.
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