Research Projects

Optical Waveform Generation: A Powerful Enabler for Optical Fiber Communications

One of the most exciting recent developments in optical fiber communications is the introduction of digital signal processing (DSP) to mitigate transmission impairments, spurred on by recent advances in high bandwidth digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). The project is focused on the development of novel techniques for optical waveform generation (OWG) tailored to the needs of emerging optical fiber transmission systems.

This theoretical and experimental research will enable cost-effective, high-performance solutions required to meet burgeoning optical network capacity demands. Specifically, the research is directed toward creating new applications of OWG technology applied to long-haul, regional, and metropolitan transmission systems. Our approach is based on leading edge OWG technology that features innovative DSP and high bandwidth DACs to generate optical signals in unprecedented ways.

Research efforts are directed as follows: (i) accurate analytic formulations and realistic simulations of OWG enabled systems are being developed; (ii) extensive experimental validation of the theoretical results are being conducted using state of the art experimental facilities in the Plant Group.

Using transmitter based OWG in combination with either coherent or direct detection receivers, the research will extend channel capacities as close as possible to the Shannon limit in order to meet future capacity and transmission distance requirements. In addition to optical fiber transmission systems, the results will have a dramatic impact in such diverse OWG candidate applications as wireless optical-backhaul, optical access networks, and test and measurement equipment.

Optical Short Reach Interconnects for Next Generation Communications and Computing Equipment

One of the most exciting recent developments in communications and computing is the introduction of Optical Short Reach Interconnects (OSRIs) to increase system connectivity, spurred on by recent advances in Si-photonics. It is now widely recognized that interconnect power and density issues are among the biggest obstacles towards realizing future generations of communications and computing equipment.

Si-photonic enabled OSRIs are expected to be an enabling technology that resolves this challenge by providing low power, high bandwidth, high density intra-chip and inter-chip communications. This project is focused on the development of novel OSRI technology and the research will deliver optically interconnected sub-systems and systems with a view that photonic interconnects and switches can operate at subpicojoule per bit energies.

Research efforts are directed as follows: (i) accurate analytic formulations and realistic simulations of OSRI enabled systems are being developed; (ii) extensive experimental validation of the theoretical results is being conducted using state of the art experimental facilities in the Plant Group.

Increasing performance of communications and computing equipment translates into reductions in service provider expenses. This allows service providers to offer inexpensive data and video-centric products to residential and business customers.

Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits (Si-EPIC)

The Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits (Si-EPIC) program researches new discipline of information and communication technology systems that integrates transistor electronics with optical circuits at the semiconductor chip level, allowing information to be processed and transmitted directly using light.

These new integrated electronic/photonic systems represent the next quantum leap in information processing hardware. The optical communications industry currently consists of manufacturers of discrete components and vendors that assemble these into systems.

The success of the electronics industry arose from its ability to integrate millions of devices on a single platform using stable and repeatable manufacturing: this will soon include both electronic and optical (photonic) components.

Students will design devices and systems that will be fabricated by leading-edge industrial foundries. Students will perform test and measurements of their fabricated devices.