Southampton University part of Europe’s optics plan
The University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre is taking part in MODE-GAP, the European collaborative R&D project with the aim of establishing Europe as a centre for the development of the next generation internet infrastructure.
The MODE-GAP consortium, which will present its latest results at this month’s ECOC conference and exhibition in Amsterdam, consists of both European universities and companies.
“Progress in optical communication systems over the past few decades has been profound,” said MODE-GAP project manager and CEO of Phoenix Photonics, Dr Ian Giles.
“As a consequence of successive breakthroughs, both in terms of photonic, and more recently, digital signal processing technologies, the latest laboratory transmission experiments are rapidly closing in on fundamental information theory limit,” said Giles.
However, traffic on optical communications networks is increasing year-on-year.
“This is leading to the distinct possibility of a capacity crunch. What we need is radical innovation and that is what MODE-GAP is trying to deliver. We have already made significant progress and the presentations and workshop at ECOC will demonstrate some of that work,” said Giles.
Organisations comprising MODE-GAP include the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, ESPCI ParisTech, OFS Fitel Denmark APS, Phoenix Photonics, the COBRA Institute at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eblana Photonics Ltd, Nokia Siemens Networks GMBH & Co. KG and the Tyndall National Institute of University College Cork.
Half-way through a four year programme, MODE-GAP aims to develop transmission technologies based on specialist long-haul transmission fibres, and associated enabling technologies.
These include novel rare-earth doped optical amplifiers, transmitter and receiver components and data processing techniques to increase the capacity of broadband networks.
MODE-GAP is also hosting a SDM workshop in conjunction with the Japanese EXAT project on the eve of ECOC, September 16, titled Optical Components and Characterisation Requirements for SDM Networks.
Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) using Mode Division Multiplexing (MDM) is the approach MODE-GAP is focussing on in order to significantly increase the data capacity of a single fibre. This is achieved by using multiple modes within the same core of Few-Mode Fibres (FMF) as independent channels, each capable of similar capacity to an individual single mode fibre.
Dr. Ian Giles, Project Manager of MODE-GAP and CEO of Phoenix Photonics will be available for interview at stand 614 in the ECOC exhibition from 17-19 September, RAI, Amsterdam.