Photonics is a key enabling technology for the evolution of the entire telecommunications infrastructure, but the technologies used so far for the metro network directly derive from the long-distance transport and they are too expensive and power hungry.
PASSION is a platform based on photonic technologies supporting the development of the future metropolitan communications network, characterized by very high transmission capacity, low cost and reduced energy consumption. Innovative transmission, detection and routing solutions and a new network architecture to ensure a transmission rate of over 100 Tb/s per link and a switching capacity of over 1 Pb/s per node. PASSION will develop an innovative technological platform based on directly-modulated vertically emitting laser sources (VCSEL) and on multi-channel coherent receivers integrated on Silicon-Photonics technology, providing high modularity and aggregating signal flows with a capacity of 16 Tb/s per channel and 112 Tb/s per link exploiting a 7-core fiber.
PASSION technologies will achieve a 10-fold power-consumption reduction with respected to commercially available modules based on externally modulated traditional sources. The dimensions of the PASSION modules will be even 3 orders lower than the current WDM solutions. Thanks to these innovative transmitters and receivers PASSION will design a flexible network architecture, optimized for metro applications, based on aggregated signal flows, exploiting the full wavelength spectrum and the "space" dimension in a multi-core fiber. Photonic devices capable of aggregating/disaggregating and/or routing data flows in spectrum and/or in space will allow a switching capacity of 1 Pb/s node. The metro network architecture developed in PASSION will thus provide a full programmability to match the traffic evolution and the increasing communications needs of our society.
“Among other innovations, PASSION represents a further step in the incorporation of VCSELs to Silicon Photonics for the further reduction of the packaging costs of such technology platform. VCSELs are lately being incorporated to the consumer electronics platform, for example, in range finders for mobile phone cameras. Their further use in Silicon Photonics for high speed interconnects can be the major breakthrough that the Datacom industry has been waiting for," said Jose Pozo, Director of Technology and Innovation at EPIC.