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Microsoft purchases a start-up making data transmission cables with high speed

Microsoft revealed today that it has bought Lumenisity, a business based in the UK that created “hollow core fiber (HCF)” solutions particularly for ISPs and data centers. The purchase, whose financial details weren’t made public, will, according to Microsoft, “increase [its] capabilities to further optimize its global cloud infrastructure” and “support customers of Microsoft’s cloud platform and services with rigorous latency and security requirements.”

Since the 1990s, HCF cables have been available. However, Lumenisity offers a unique design with an air-filled core channel and a ring of glass tubes around it. In a study with Comcast in April, it was claimed that a single strand of Lumenisity HCF could produce traffic rates ranging from 10 Gbps to 400 Gbps. The theory is that light can go through air more quickly than glass.

Girish Bablani, CVP of Microsoft’s Azure Core business, stated in a blog post that “HCF can deliver benefits across a broad range of industries, including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail and government.” “HCF could offer improved security and intrusion detection for local and national governments all around the world in the public sector. HCF could speed up medical image retrieval in the healthcare industry by enabling providers to ingest, store, and exchange medical imaging data in the cloud because it can handle the size and volume of enormous data sets. Additionally, with the development of the digital economy, HCF could support global financial institutions looking for swift, secure transactions across a wide area.

In order to commercialize HCF research, Lumenisity was established in 2017 as a spinoff from the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton. The firm raised £12.5 million (about $15.35 million) from investors including the Business Growth Fund and Parkwalk Advisors over the course of various investment rounds before being acquired.

The longest recorded spans ever documented using HCF technology, according to Lumenisity, are achieved with the deployment of its fibers in client networks. Beyond Comcast, U.K. provider BT has tested Lumenisity’s technology. At the time, BT asserted that the technology might reduce latency by as much as 50% when compared to conventional fiber. Lumenisity cable to feed the London Stock Exchange is also being tested by infrastructure firm euNetworks Fiber UK Limited.

Lumenisity finished building a 40,000 square foot HCF manufacturing facility in Romsey, United Kingdom, earlier this month. According to the business, this will allow “scaled-up” production of its HCF technology in the future.

Lumenisity posted a statement on its website saying, “This is the end of the beginning, and we are pleased to start our next chapter as part of Microsoft to realise this technology’s full potential and continue our goal of unlocking new capabilities in communication networks.” We are happy to have been bought by a business that shares our mission and will help us advance in the hollowcore market.

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