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Georgia Tech to lead ‘EPICA’ photonics research center

14 May 2021

New Institute of Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits for Aerospace (EPICA) to focus on communication and sensing.

Atlanta, GA-based Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded funding to lead a new US Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC) in Integrated Photonics.

Georgia Tech says that integrated photonics are now a key enabling technology in many commercial, defense and scientific applications such as fiber communications, data centers, RF analog links, quantum computing, and communications and sensing.

Aerospace and spaceborne applications of integrated photonics present many challenges for researchers resulting from the harsh environment, however they provide enormous opportunities for increasing performance while reducing size weight and power.

The EPICA IUCRC was first proposed by faculty of the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), a center within the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech. The GEDC is a cross-disciplinary research center focused on the development of high-speed electronic and photonics components and signal processing to achieve revolutionary system performance.

With renowned expertise in advanced photonics and highspeed electronics research, more than 15 active faculty and over 100 graduate and undergraduate students, the Georgia Tech team believes it is poised for success, stating, “EPICA’s founding recognizes Georgia Tech as a leader in photonic integrated circuits for aerospace and spaceborne applications.”

EPICA’s establishment is intended to enable the next wave of communications and sensing technologies for a variety of platforms by designing solutions for advanced electronic-photonic integrated circuits and systems geared specifically for aerospace applications via validation of the performance and reliability of these systems in harsh environments.

Multi-center partnership

EPICA at Georgia Tech is led by Professor Stephen Ralph, Director of GEDC, and includes research teams from the University of Central Florida and Vanderbilt University. Professor Ralph commented, “The success of the Georgia Electronic Design Center as a recognized leader in high-speed electronics and integrated photonics uniquely positioned Georgia Tech to create and lead the new NSF Center.

“Working with the teams at the University of Central Florida and Vanderbilt, as well as with the more than 20 semiconductor and photonics industry companies that are joining the center, we will solve the most challenging problems and help provide internet services around the planet, enhanced security by enabling robust systems for the DoD and improve environmental sensing of our atmosphere.”

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