NTT Acquires Fujitsu’s Silicon Photonics Business

May 14, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

Japanese tech firms NTT and Fujitsu announce a joint strategic partnership to build optical and wireless networks for the 6G era.

NTT Electronics Corporation, the power electronics R&D arm of Japanese telecom giant NTT, recently announced it is acquiring a majority stake in Fujitsu’s advanced technologies business segment. A new combined entity, NTT Electronics Cross Technologies Corporation, will focus on building open architecture optical transport and mobile communications systems, with plans to kick off R&D operations on June 1. 

The partnership will largely service NTT’s Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (or IOWN) initiative, which aims to develop high-speed, high-capacity networks and infrastructure by 2024. 

In the announcement, NTT said it acquired a 66% majority stake in Fujitsu' Advanced Technologies Limited for the business partnership. The subsidiary spun out of its corporate parent in August 2007, as Fujitsu sought to restructure its shared technology and design divisions into separate corporations. 

By the end of 2022, the new combined company will build architecture for using photonics-based electronics convergence devices on mobile communication products and other ICT (information communications technology) products, including Fujitsu’s 5G base stations. 

They also plan to build new optical devices based on open interface-based technologies. NTT is already working on this segment through its DOCOMO subsidiary, the leading mobile phone operator in Japan. 

In February, NTT DOCOMO launched a 5G Open RAN Ecosystem project in partnership with Fujitsu and 11 other companies, including Dell, Intel, NVIDIA and Qualcomm. NTT says it will use these technologies to build its mobile network infrastructure ahead of full-scale 5G deployment. 

The partnership will also combine NTT’s electronics convergence technology with technologies developed for Fujitsu’s supercomputer platform, Fugaku, which completed development in March. The two companies conduct joint R&D to study low power consumption designs to be used in high-performance computing applications. 

“The two companies will conduct research and other activities aimed at developing technology for disaggregated computing that enables high-speed, high-efficiency data processing by radically reimagining conventional computing architecture, for which speed and energy efficiency remain a challenge, and flexibly integrating and utilizing a variety of hardware with software according to the intended use,” the announcement stated.