KU professor receives patent for research to speed Internet, other communications

Lawrence,KS (09-09-2002)

From University Relations
By Michelle Ward

LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas professor whose research has led to a method to increase speed for Internet and other fiber optic communications recently received a U.S. patent for his efforts.

Ron Hui, KU assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science, earned the patent for work entitled, "Method and device for encoding data into high speed optical train." New modulators that would vary the amplitude, frequency or phase of the fiber optics will not need to be created to increase communication
speed. Hui, along with fellow researchers Jin Hong and Maurice O'Sullivan, created the encoding devices and methods that can be upgraded as advances in modulator technology occur.

"The results were quite impressive, so we decided to write a patent application," said Hui, a faculty investigator in the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center's Lightwave Communication
Systems Laboratory.

Patent number 6,438,148 resulted from the researchers' work with Nortel Networks, an Ontario, Canada, company that delivers networking and communications services and infrastructure for customers in more than 150 countries. Nortel Networks spends $2.5 billion a year on research and development by approximately 17,400 engineers, designers, scientists at 31 sites around the world, according to its Web site.

The need for speed has developed from the Internet's rapid growth in data traffic. The vast growth in traffic has continually challenged Web site developers to produce higher-quality sites. Thus, the Internet has evolved from supporting simple text data to high-quality voice data, images and real-time video. In return, customer performance expectations have driven researchers to develop high-capacity and high-speed networks to support the daily needs of modern communications.

Since 1983, the transmission capacity of optical fiber systems has doubled every 2.4 years and does not appear to be slowing. While higher performance systems will be needed to handle increasing volumes of future traffic, researchers must adhere to industry's increased emphasis on reducing the cost of building, owning and operating optical communications systems. This makes Hui's patent even more important as it adapts its device and method to current programs. It makes improvements within the current system and allows for future upgrades.

"The importance of working with industry is to solve practical research problems that are relevant to advancing the state-of-the-art," said Victor Frost, ITTC director and Dan F. Servey distinguished professor of electricalengineering and computer science.

Hui has created a volume of research during his short time at KU. For his work, he received the Miller Award for Research this spring from the KU School of Engineering. He has worked on numerous research projects at ITTC including acting as the sole principal investigator on eight projects that total $1.5 million. Since joining KU in 1997, he has filed for seven U.S. patents and written 11 journal papers and eight refereed conference papers.

ITTC comprises six major research laboratories with more than 30 faculty researchers and 130 students to investigate numerous aspects of the convergence of computing, communication and sensor technologies. Supported by current Kansas leaders, Industry Advisory Board, governmental funding agencies, and local and international corporate partners, ITTC represents an all-in-one information technology "solution."

For more information, contact ITTC.

Current News | More News | ITTC Newsletter

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

ITTC Calendar
There are no upcoming events at this time.