European collaboration to develop next-generation optical transceivers

(Nanowerk News) Imec’s associated lab at Ghent University has joined the European Commission’s SPIRIT project on optical transceivers for next-generation flexible optical networks. The three-year research program aims to develop innovative programmable photonic components, all integrated on a Si photonic platform: low-power, multi-level modulators, flexible wavelength multiplexers and de-multiplexers, and high-speed coherent receivers will constitute the ingredients for enabling terabit capacities and software-defined operation in future metropolitan and long-haul networks. SPIRIT’s consortium comprises seven leading academic research centers and companies from across Europe.
Within this project, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University will develop the dedicated high-speed low-power driver arrays for interfacing segmented multi-level modulators. In these IC designs, they will focus on the close integration and matching of the drivers with the corresponding InP modulator chips. The team will co-optimize the high-speed signal processing, mixed-signal electronic circuits, parasitic elements, interconnects and electro-optical component parameters to take advantage of the various new technologies developed by the SPIRIT consortium.
Imec’s associated lab at Ghent University will also develop innovative integration technologies for optically and electrically interconnecting the InP, CMOS and silicon photonic components developed in the consortium. Photonics integration usually involves accurate alignment and costly equipment. Therefore, the team will focus on technologies which will be alignment intolerant as much as possible.
SPIRIT is a research project focused on programmable optical transceivers for next-generation flexible optical networks and is supported by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of the European Commission (EC). The total budget of the project is EUR 4,093,014.00, with EUR 2,870,000.00 contributed by the European Commission. The project officially started on December 1, 2013 and will run for 3 years. The consortium, headed by the National Technical University of Athens (GR), comprises Fraunhoffer-HHI (DE), IMEC (BE), AMO GmbH (DE), LINKRA S.r.l. (IT), Ericsson Telecomunicazioni (IT) and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE A.E.) (GR).
Source: imec
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