UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Nature Electronics paper demonstrates new technique that may enable all-optical data-centre networks

22 June 2020

Members of ONG along with Microsoft Research have developed a new technique that synchronises the clocks of computers in under a billionth of a second.

Computer servers and clock image

The research is published in Nature Electronics and has the potential to create greater efficiency in data centres, the underlying technology empowering everything we do online. 

PhD candidate and lead author Kari Clark said: “Our research makes optical switching viable for the data centre for the first time by providing a solution to the clock synchronisation problem. It has the potential to transform communication between computers in the cloud, making key future technologies like the internet of things and artificial intelligence cheaper, faster and consume less power.”

Read the full story posted on the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems site.

Clark. K. A, Cletheroe. D, Gerard. T, Istvan. H, Jozwik. K, Shi. K, Thomsen. B, Williams. H, Zervas. G, Ballani. H, Bayvel. P, Costa. P, and Liu. Z
Synchronous subnanosecond clock and data recovery for optically switched data centres using clock phase caching
Nature Electronics (doi.org/10.1038/s41928-020-0423-y)

The work is funded by the Optics for the Cloud Research Alliance, EPSRC programme grant TRANSNET (EP/R035342/1) and a New Investigator Award (EP/R041792/1).