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Researchers win €5.2m to develop high-bandwidth, thermally intelligent circuits

04 Mar 2015

‘Thermally Integrated Smart Photonics Systems’ project to enable next-generation photonic devices to support global bandwidth growth.

Tyndall National Institute, Ireland, is to lead a consortium of European researchers in a €5.2m EU-funded project to develop intelligent optical circuits, which can make photonic devices up to five times more efficient than conventional systems - resulting in faster data transmission at a lower cost.

The ‘Thermally Integrated Smart Photonics Systems’ (TIPS) project is funded under Horizon 2020’s call for Smart Integration Systems and expects to see industry and research partners from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and France collaborate on the three-year project.

With an anticipated 11.5 billion mobile-ready devices in the world by 2020 and the increasing connectivity of those devices through the Internet of Things, current operational bandwidth will be insufficient to cope with Europe’s ever-increasing data demands. Significantly more bandwidth is required to avoid bottle-necking Europe’s expanding digital economy.

Dr. Kafil M. Razeeb, senior research scientist at Tyndall National Institute and coordinator of the project said, “We aim to develop an intelligent circuit that can thermally control its own operations, making it up to five times more efficient. By precisely self-tuning its own temperature, such a device can produce a more precise wavelength, meaning faster data transmission at a lower cost.”

Tyndall National Institute will work with partners from III-V Lab (France), University of Hamburg (Germany), Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs Ireland, three CNRS Institutes (France), Stokes Institute-University of Limerick, LioniX BV, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France, and Communicraft.

Imec presents compact WDM CMOS Si-photonics transceiver

Nanoelectronics research centre imec, in collaboration with Tyndall National Institute, the University of Leuven and Ghent University have demonstrated a 4x20Gbit/s wavelength division multiplexing hybrid CMOS silicon photonics transceiver. The partnership says this development, "paves the way to cost-effective, high-density single-mode optical fiber links". The first public demonstration of the device was made at the end of February at the 2015 International Solid State Circuits Conference, in San Francisco, Ca, USA.

Hybrid CMOS silicon photonics transceivers, transmitting and receiving data over single-mode optical fiber, are expected to play a key role in next-generation datacenter connectivity. By leveraging existing CMOS manufacturing and 3D assembly infrastructure, the hybrid CMOS silicon photonics platform enables high integration density and reduced power consumption, plus high yield and low manufacturing cost.

Imec’s CMOS silicon photonics transceiver comprises a silicon photonics (SiPh) chip, flip-chip integrated with a low-power 40nm CMOS chip. The "SiPh" chip, fabricated on imec’s 25Gbit/s Silicon Photonics Platform (iSiPP25G), comprises an array of four compact 25Gbit/s ring modulators, coupled to a common bus waveguide to allow WDM transmission. On the receive side, a ring-based, low-loss (2dB) demultiplexing filter with 300GHz channel spacing is implemented and further connected to an array of four 25Gbit/s germanium waveguide photodetectors.

This development was supported by imec’s optical I/O core partner program. Imec’s iSiPP25G technology can be accessed through Europractice, while silicon photonics packaging services are available through the Tyndall National Institute.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

ABTechTRIOPTICS GmbHAlluxaBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationLASEROPTIK GmbHCeNing Optics Co LtdHyperion Optics
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