Description of the organisation


Seagate is a world leading provider of hard drives and storage solutions. In addition, the company offers an extensive line of retail storage products for consumers and small businesses, along with data recovery services for any brand of hard drive and digital media type. Seagate employs more than 50,000 people around the world. In March 2014, Seagate acquired Xyratex Technology Ltd, which has over the past 11 years been actively pursuing an optical research and development programme to develop solutions for photonic integration into future data centre systems to substantially mitigate the communications bottlenecks resulting from both the increase in data rate and internal interconnect link lengths. We are therefore interested in technologies that can cost-effectively deliver very reliable high-speed data transport systems and that support the evolution of our product lines. These research and development activities continue under Seagate Cloud Storage Solutions at Seagate Systems UK Ltd in Havant, Hampshire, which continues to provide modular, highly scalable, high-speed, high-density data storage products that feature high availability, reliability and flexibility.


Role in the project (M1 - M29)


In this project, Seagate is mainly involved in WP5. It specifies and develops the optically enabled flexible converged data storage platform that will demonstrate the COSMICC technologies (including the PCB board for demov1 and demov2). Seagate is also active in the dissemination and exploitation of project results in the end-user community (WP6). Seagate left the project in May 2018.

Main contact

Richard Pitwon

Photonics Research and Development

Cloud Systems & Solutions

Seagate Technology



+44 (0)77 25732 444

Key people involved

Richard Pitwon (male) leads the photonics R&D group at Seagate Systems UK Ltd, responsible for design and development of advanced solutions in embedded optical interconnect for data communication systems and leading edge research into future optical interconnect technologies. He received his BSc (Hons) degree in Physics from the University of St Andrews in 2000. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a member of IET with 14 years’ experience in high speed photonic and electronic hardware design, firmware and software. He is also an Expert member on the British Standards Institute (BSI) Fibre Optics subcommittee and four IEC Standards subcommittees responsible for reviewing and drafting emerging international standards proposals in the field of optical interconnect. He has authored numerous conference and journal papers, an international IEC standard and holds over 34 patents and patent applications in the field of optical printed circuit board and interconnect technologies. He will act as principal investigator.

Paul Stevens (male) is a senior hardware engineer within the photonics R&D group. He received his BSc in Electronic Engineering and Physics from Loughborough University of Technology in 1987 and has worked in the electronics industry for over 26 years including Singer Link-Miles, Psion Dacom, Ferranti Naval Systems, BAE Systems and Alstom. He will support the project through design and development of converged data storage demonstration platform and through test and characterisation of the demonstration platform.

Dr. Kai Wang (male) is a senior optical engineer in the photonics R&D group. He received the MSc in Microelectronic Systems and Telecommunications from Liverpool University and the Ph.D. degree in optical engineering from University College London (UCL), U.K. He became a research fellow in 2004 in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, UCL. His researches include computer modeling in LCDs, backlights, multimode waveguides and design OPCBs. He joined Xyratex Technology Ltd. (acquired by Seagate Technology PLC in March 2014) as a senior engineer in 2012 and worked on the design and characterization of optical backplane and optical interconnects for future generation storage and server systems. He will support the project through optical test and characterisation.

Allen Miller (male) is a senior opto-mechanical designer for the Photonics R&D group. He has an extremely diverse set of skills that are applicable to the creation and manufacture of the various sections of the demonstration platform. His international experience in both design and management roles while working with companies such as General Electric, USA, Boreal Laser, Canada and Optica Fibre Technologies Europe, Belgium brings knowledge from many different fields and technologies. These include micro-mechanics, optical design, fibre optical connections, automation, manufacturing as well as extensive computer aided design experience. He holds over 8 patents and patent applications in the fields of optical interconnect and optical displays. He will support the project through optical interconnect hardware development