Designing next generation Terabit Optical Ethernet

A new European project focusing on the development of next generation silicon photonic components for coherent terabit optical Ethernet was launched.

The project is called "GALACTICO: blending diverse photonics and electronics on silicon for integrated and fully functional coherent Tb Ethernet" and co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme, Information and Communication Technologies, Photonics Unit.

GALACTICO aims to design and develop a photonic integration platform for the cost-effective realization of complex, fully integrated and fully functional multi-GbE coherent transmitters and receivers with direct applicability to emerging 100GbE high-capacity and spectrally-efficient long-haul networks, as well as future-proof scalability towards 1Tb/s. GALACTICO aims to squeeze current bulky and costly 100GbE interfaces into silicon-based PICs (Photonic Integrated Circuits) and provide integrated coherent transmitters and receivers that deliver a massive amount of aggregate bandwidth. To address cost, performance and volume, GALACTICO aims to provide the right mix of the three most established integration materials, i.e. InP (Indium Phosphide), GaAs (Gallium Arsenide), Si (Silicon) and combine their strengths on a silicon-on-insulator integration platform.

Our company is responsible for the design and modeling of the photonic components and devices that will be developed within the project. In addition, Constelex is performing the technical management of the project.

The consortium includes top research centres and universities under the guidance of a strong line-up of industrial partners: IHP - Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics - Germany (Si and SiGe technology), U2t Photonics - Germany (InP technology, module design & development), National Technical University of Athens -  Greece (System modeling, testing), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia - Spain (Hybrid integration technology), Nokia Siemens Networks - Portugal (System specifications, measurements), Telecom Italia -Italy (Network specifications, network evaluation), Constelex Technology Enablers - Greece (device design, aligning system & technology), Technical University of Berlin - Germany (Designing silicon boards), U2t Photonics - United Kingdom (GaAs modulator technology).

The project coordinator is Dr. Lars Zimmermann from IHP and the project technical manager is Dr. Leontios Stampoulidis from Constelex.

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