07 November 2019
The Scottish Enterprise, government-funded, MIRAGE project has helped CST Global develop mid-infrared laser chips for applications in worldwide FTTH, sensing, imaging, telecoms and data-centre markets. MIRAGE was the first project of its kind in Scotland. It was delivered by a collaboration of four SME companies - CST Global, Cascade Technologies, Gas Sensing Solutions and Amethyst Research. The project fund of £6.35m was managed through Scottish Enterprise and is expected to add £56m of cumulative growth to the Scottish economy and create 41 new jobs.
Thomas Slight, Research Engineer at CST Global, and project lead at the company said, “The cutting-edge laser technology developed for MIRAGE is applicable to a wide range of massive-growth markets. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity for cable television and the internet is just one, but data centre connectivity, autonomous vehicles and many other industrial, defense and healthcare applications have been enabled.”
New commercial and residential buildings requiring direct FTTH connections for internet and television is a rapidly growing market, particularly in China, where CST Global already has a sales presence. According to an AVIA report, the number of pay TV subscribers is expected to rise to 353 million by 2022*.
Thomas adds, “The MIRAGE project gave us access to the expertise and materials required to compete in these markets. Not only has it allowed CST Global to develop a new chip at the forefront of the global sensors and imaging systems sector, but it has also helped to create a globally competitive supply chain in Scotland. We have successfully manufactured competitive lasers in high volumes and yields that meet the required ITU standards. This has created six, highly-skilled, new roles at CST Global alone, adding to our team of specialist engineers.”
*Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA)