In recent years efforts have been made to achieve higher data rates in optical communication systems. In the IST projects FASHION and TOPRATE it has been shown that datarates of 160Gbit/s can be transmitted using Optical Time Division Multiplexing. The focus of these projects has been in the optical domain rather than in realization of cost-efficient components.
Further IST-projects address IP-based optical networks and develop concepts for optical packet switched networks, e.g. IST-LASAGNE and IST-IP NOBEL. In packet switching networks, the next logical step after 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is 100GbE.
The objective of HECTO is development of photonic components, transmitter and receiver, for high-performance and high-speed but cost-efficient communication systems. Applications are Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) optical systems with up to 160Gbit/s as well as optical packet-switching networks based on serial 100GbE signals requiring about 110Gbit/s.
Transmitters will be developed with Travelling-Wave Electro-Absorption Modulators (TWEAM) with bandwidths of 100GHz or more, integrated with continuous-wave lasers. Electronic driver amplifiers and multiplexers will be developed for the connection between the modulators and external electronics at lower speeds.
Receivers with bandwidths of 100GHz and above will be developed with waveguide pin photodetectors integrated with electronic amplifiers, and the required high-speed electronics for electrical clock recovery and demultiplexing to lower speeds.
The components will be tested in systems experiments. To ensure that they will meet the demands of the future market, technology application assessment will accompany the technical investigation and development.
The HECTO project will allow European companies to gain share in the increasingly competitive photonic component and packet switching market. HECTO will form a basis for a cost-efficient extension of European networks, and the introduction of end-to-end broadband services for all European citizens.
The focus of this project is on the development of photonic components, transmitter and receiver, for high-performance and high-speed but cost-efficient communication systems. The main objectives of this proposal are summarized as follows:
To develop fully packaged transmitters and receivers suitable for optical systems based on serial 100GbE signals requiring about 110Gbit/s.
To determine specifications for all interfaces of the photonic components taking into account emerging relevant standards, and to determine application areas for the components and their impact on the specifications.
To test the fully packaged transmitters and receivers in laboratory systems test-beds and to perform tests in field trials.
To disseminate the results of the project, e.g. through the involvement of end users in the field trials.
To exploit the results of the project, including plans for commercial exploitation by the SME component vendors of the consortium.
The HECTO Consortium
The HECTO consortium consists of 9 principal contractors from the EU Member states Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Greece. The project will be managed by KTH who will handle the administrative functions. KTH will also be responsible for the design and characterization of the TWEAM, as well as process coordination in close collaboration with Syntune. Syntune develops epitaxy and the fabrication process of the TWEAM and the monolithically integrated laser-TWEAM and fabricates these devices. The TWEAM chips are packaged by U2T and connected to the driver IC designed and fabricated by FHG/IAF who will also design and fabricate an electronic multiplexer. The role of FHG/HHI is to design, fabricate, and characterize receivers with detectors and amplifiers, which will be connected to clock recovery circuits and electronic demultiplexers designed and fabricated by FHG/IAF and packaged by U2T. COM will contribute to the modulator evaluation using equipment only available at this partner and will also perform optical transmission experiments in order to evaluate the components produced within the project. Field tests will be performed using the test-bed operated by Acreo. Techno-economic evaluation of systems working at bitrates up to 160Gbit/s will be performed by Siemens and UoP to ensure that the components will meet the demands of the future market.