Photonic and optoelectronic integration technology is playing an increasingly important role for the cost- and energy-efficient deployment of modern and complex ICT systems. While large-scale electronic integration is already a mature tool for the development of multifunctional devices and systems on a chip level, photonic integration is still in its infancy. Access to high performance by substituting critical functions by photonic means is therefore still hampered when it comes to complex systems.
Functional and technological convergence of both key enabling technologies, microelectronics and photonics, is an attractive way to exploit synergies of both worlds: intelligence, flexibility and high performance. By incorporating all these assets in a unified technology toolbox the vast potential of future ICT systems can be effectively unlocked.
The business unit Optical Quantum Technology coordinates the FFG PHELICITI project, which aims at optoelectronic 3D integration through CMOS-compatible processes. By doing so, entire subsystems for cost- and energy-efficient 10 Gb/s Fibre-to-the-X networks will be integrated on a single chip. The subsystems required such as self-calibrating transmitters or flexible receivers will be developed over the course of the project, leading to a powerful toolbox of next-generation telecom subsystems.