LONDON The UK government's Technology Strategy Board has agreed to spend £1.85 million (about $2.6 million) in a collaborative project to develop integrated indium phosphide-based photonic devices and new active materials.
The organizations involved are CIP Technologies Ltd. (CIP), Bookham Technology Ltd., SAFC Hitech, Loughborough Surface Analysis (LSA), the University of Sheffield and the University of Surrey. The three-year project is called ETOE II (Extended Temperature OptoElectronics), and continues the collaboration by the same partners in ETOE I.
The follow-on project has two main thrusts. The first is the development of reliable aluminum-containing active photonic devices, to support the high temperature operation of advanced functions such as integrated semiconductor optical amplifiers and electro-absorption modulators (SOA-EAMs), and widely-tunable lasers with integrated Mach-Zhender modulators. A second, longer-range element of the project is to look at alternative active-layer materials for InP and GaAs devices, including nitrogen, antimony and bismuth.
Reducing power consumption is now becoming one of the most significant challenges for the information and communications industry. A number of telecommunications network operators have recently announced plans to cut their carbon footprints and this is placing demands on equipment suppliers to develop energy efficient solutions.
Results from the project are expected to lead to high speed, high power integrated devices that can operate uncooled, enabling significant reductions in power consumption and closer stacking of optical interfaces.
"This project builds on successful technology developed under ETOE I, and I confidently expect it will result in advanced monolithic photonic devices offering higher speed operation, wider temperature performance and greater tuneability," said Ian Lealman of CIP, project manager for ETOE II, in a statement.