With the emergence of 5G networks, more and more bandwidth is required in cell towers for mobile data traffic. This is provided via a fixed connection by optical signals with wavelength division (WDM, wavelength division multiplexing). The higher transmission frequencies and the increased transmission speed per channel require local amplification of this optical signal. The commonly used EDFA amplifiers (Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifier) are too expensive for such a widespread application and use too much power. We propose to realize a cheap and energy-efficient optical amplifier that can amplify over a wide frequency range and can emit the same optical power for each channel. The consortium covers the entire spectrum from the design of optical modules to their assembly and marketing.
SMART Photonics is coordinating the WIDE5GNET project, combining our skills and knowledge with that of some key international partners: TU/e and Bright Photonics in The Netherlands and ETRI and COWeaver from South Korea. Eindhoven University of Technology and Bright Photonics will design an InP chip that will be manufactured in SMART Photonics’ manufacturing platform for PICs (Photonic Integrated Circuits). At the Korean ETRI institute, special interposers are being designed with which the InP PIC can be connected to several glass fibers and then delivered as a module to COWeaver. COWeaver integrates the module in a line-card system with software that can eventually be placed in a mobile network.
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This project has received funding from the Eurostars-2 joint programme with co-funding from the European Union H2020 research and innovation programme.
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