Technology

Photonics researchers make one chip to rule them all

A multifunctional silicon photonics integrated circuit that can be programmed to perform a variety of different functions has been developed by researchers from Spain and the UK.

This is “the first photonic integrated chip that enables multiple functionalities by employing a single common architecture”, according to researchers from the Silicon Photonics Group at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, and from the Institute of Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications (iTEAM) at the Universitat Politècnica de València,

PHIX Photonics Assembly targets automated manufacturing

Start-up PHIX Photonics Assembly has raised a first round of investment from Dutch regional development agency Oost NL to build and develop a facility for volume production of photonic integrated circuit (PIC) modules for datacom, telecom and medical applications.

Fixed wireless meets optical access in Nokia Wireless PON

There’s a new kid on the access block and it’s a form of fixed wireless called WiGig. Nokia has integrated the new wireless technology into its optical access equipment, to provide operators with another option for delivering gigabit services to the home.

Nokia says it’s the first to include WiGig technology with passive optical network (PON) equipment. Pilots, commercial trials and general product availability are planned for 2018, the company added.

Lightwave Logic champions polymer-based modulators

Electro-optic polymers could help other optical materials become more successful, according to Lightwave Logic, a development stage company.

Lightwave Logic has developed a high-performance Mach-Zehnder polymer modulator suitable for 50Gb/s modulation, the company announced at ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg Sweden. This breakthrough will enable arrays of 4 x 50G polymer modulators, which can be combined with PAM-4 encoding to build 400Gb/s data centre optics. 

CWDM8 MSA targets compact lower power optics for 400G

The CWDM8 multi-source agreement (MSA) Group has been formed to define optical specifications for 400G singlemode optics using 50G per wavelength and non-return-to-zero (NRZ) optical modulation.

The consortium aims to address what they see as a near-term need for lower power and more cost-effective options for distances of 2km and 10km within data centre and campus networks. This will support the deployment of 12.8Tb/s Ethernet switches and other advanced networking equipment with 50G electrical I/O.

100G Lambda MSA focuses on serial 100G optical links

The desire for faster data centre optics appears to be outpacing the standards process. As a result, 22 companies have joined forces to speed up the development of 100Gb/s serial optical interfaces.

The 100G Lambda multi-source agreement (MSA) group is developing specifications for optical interfaces based on 100Gb/s per wavelength over duplex singlemode fibre. These new optical specifications are targeting 100 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet applications in the next-generation of networking equipment.

US Navy experiments with free-space optics system for ships

Johns Hopkins University reports that a team of engineers from the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has successfully demonstrated a high-bandwidth, free-space optical (FSO) communications system between two moving ships, proving that FSO technology can operate in maritime conditions. The Lab demonstrated its latest compact form factor system during the 2017 Trident Warrior Exercise, an annual event where sailors try out the latest innovations in naval warfare systems.

Japanese team tops 100 terabits over an optical fibre

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and six partners have established a new world record of 118.5Tb/s for the largest transmission capacity achieved over an optical fibre of standard dimensions.

Though the optical fibre had the same diameter as standard singlemode fibre, its structure was not standard. The design contained four cores (light paths) running along the fibre’s length.

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