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MIT Technology Review

35 Innovators Under 35

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  • Desmond Lim

    32

    Singapore-born Desmond Lim likes to convert scientific advances into marketable products. As cofounder of Cambridge, MA-based LNL Technologies with fellow TR100 member Kevin Lee, Lim aims to transform the company’s groundbreaking optical-chip prototypes into inexpensive commodities that will upgrade data transmission over phone lines and the Internet. To that end, chief technology officer Lim has designed a fast-turnaround process for prototyping optical components such as waveguides, filters, and multiplexers, and he has developed practical, high-volume manufacturing lines to make chips for the telecommunications industry. When LNL demonstrated its flagship chip in December 2002, the Wall Street Journal said it “could one day become the Pentium processor of light signals.” The company is now setting up field tests and talking to manufacturers about building LNL’s chips. “We are leveraging what is known about standard silicon chips and putting our ideas on top,” Lim says. “We are past the inspiration phase and are now in the sweat phase: moving toward mass production.”