What are thermally intelligent photonic circuits? Tyndall consortium gets €5.2 million to develop them

March 4, 2015
Tyndall National Institute will lead a European consortium to create highly thermally controlled photonic communications devices.
Kafil M. Razeeb and Cian O'Murchu of Tyndall National Institute emulate the impact of increased internet traffic on a photonic data transmitter. They and their colleagues will develop an intelligent circuit that can regulate its own temperature. (Image: Tyndall National Institute)

Tyndall National Institute (Cork, Ireland) will lead a European consortium to create thermally intelligent photonic circuits to cope with the increasing demands of data traffic. The Thermally Integrated Smart Photonics Systems (TIPS) project is funded under Horizon 2020's call for Smart Integration Systems and will see industry and research partners from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and France collaborate on the three-year project. Stokes Institute (Limerick) is another Irish partner in the project.

Thermally intelligent photonics
But what is a thermally intelligent photonic circuit? It is the addition of finely tuned heat-control devices to conventional photonic circuits designed for data communications; such control devices, which include microfluidic pumps for thermal control and microchannel heat exchangers for laser arrays, precisely manage heat flow both temperature-wise and spatially, allowing photonic circuits to be stabilized and optimally tuned.

"We will seek to develop an intelligent circuit that can thermally control its own operations, making it up to five times more efficient," says Kafil M. Razeeb, senior research scientist at Tyndall National Institute and coordinator of the project. "By precisely self-tuning its own temperature, the device can produce a more precise wavelength, meaning faster data transmission at a lower cost."

Tyndall National Institute will work with partners from III-V Lab, University of Hamburg, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs Ireland, CNRS Institutes (INL, ILM and IMN), Stokes Institute University of Limerick, LioniX BV, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France, and Communicraft Ltd.

About Tyndall
Tyndall National Institute supports industry and academia in driving research to market; the institution is one of Europe's leading research centers in information and communications technology (ICT) research and development and the largest facility of its type in Ireland. Tyndall generates around €30 million income each year, 85% from competitively won contracts nationally and internationally. Tyndall hosts the only full CMOS (metal oxide semiconductor) integrated circuit construction, Micro Electronic Mechanical systems (MEMS) and III-V Wafer Semiconductor fabrication facilities and services in Ireland, and is the lead institution for the Science Foundation Ireland funded Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC).




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