Microsoft has invested a lot of resources in its cloud infrastructure, and cloud services such as Azure represent an increasingly large share of the company’s total revenue. Today, the investment has been taken up another notch, with a major new acquisition.
Microsoft announced on Friday that they acquired a UK company called Lumenism. The company specializes in HCF (Hollow Core Fiber) technology, or hollow core fiber as it is often called in Norwegian, and is one of the major players in this field.
Superior performance on many fronts
– The acquisition will expand Microsoft’s ability to further optimize global cloud infrastructure and serve Microsoft’s cloud customers who have stringent response/delay and security requirements, Microsoft writes in the press release.
HCF is a still relatively new fiber technology which, in short, means that optical signals are sent through a hollow air-filled core instead of a solid fiberglass core.
According to Microsoft, light travels about 47% faster through air than fiberglass, which means the technology, among other things, facilitates significantly higher transmission speeds. The brightness speaks for itself websites that their technology, called “Coresmart”, also offers up to 30% reduction in lead times.
Additionally, the solution can provide very low signal loss, which means you can transmit over great distances without using signal amplifiers. Other advantages are reduced costs, greater bandwidth and better network quality thanks to the elimination of so-called “non-linear” properties in fiberglass which negatively affect light signals.
Can be used with existing equipment
According to Lumenisity, the previous generation of hollow-core fiber, based on photonic bandgap fiber (PBGF) technology, requires complex structures with physical limitations. The company’s proprietary technology, called “anti-resonant interlocking knotless fibers (NANF), should have overcome these physical limitations.
More technical details can be found in a separate document which can be downloaded from this page.
Beyond these benefits, the company’s Coresmart technology is designed to be compatible with existing network equipment, and Lumenisity also claims that its cables are thoroughly tested in demanding environments. Several of the company’s cables are already in use, some for more than three years.
Online cloud investment is becoming increasingly important to Microsoft. For the last quarter the company posted revenue of $25.7 billion, a solid 24% increase over the same period last year.
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