Integrated photonic transceivers at sub-terahertz wave range for ultra-wideband wireless communications

FP7 ICT-5-3.9 Microsystems and Smart Miniaturised Systems

This project is supported by the European Commission under the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Theme of the 7th Framework Programme, within the Smart micro/nano systems area of ICT Challenge 3: Components, Systems, engineering.

Third period public summary

WP2(Dual Wavelength Signal Source) 

Successful fabrication of AWG iDWSS photonic integrated circuits

During this period, a second run of AWG sources was started after the first run proved to deliver low optical power due to processing problems.

From the results on devices fabricated under Generic Integration Platforms, we moved to develop AWG sources in which the mirrors of the laser cavity are formed by novel Multi-Mode Interferometer Reflectors (MMIRs). The AWG combines four channels, each with its own channel SOA to activate different wavelengths, into a common output waveguide. Thus, the AWG is used to select and combine the wavelengths into a common output, in which Boost SOA or modulators are included.


iPHOS Dual Wavelength AWG-based photonic integrated circuit

WP3 (High Speed Photodiode) 

Successful fabrication of monolithic dual DFB iDWSS

During this period, a second run of dual DFBs was started after the first run proved to deliver low optical power due to the compromises to achieve the monolithic integration.

The fabrication run included monolithically the lasers and opto-electronic converters, high speed photodiodes. The core of the PIC is two 1mm-long DFB lasers (DFB1 and DFB2). On its right hand side, the outputs from the two lasers are combined, after passing through bent SOAs, on a 2x2 multimode interference (MMI) coupler. Each output of the coupler is evanescently coupled to a corresponding UTC photodiode after passing through an SOA, an electro-optical modulator and another SOA to boost the signal input into the photodiode. On the left hand side outputs of the DFB lasers are combined in a 2x1 MMI coupler, providing an optical access to be used either as an output, to observe the optical spectrum, or as an input, to allow optical injection stabilization schemes.


WP4 (Sub-system Integration and Packaging)


Samples for Packaging

Due to the broad tuning range of the dual-DFB approach, which enable them to cover the two frequency ranges targeted by the consortium, we decided that these were more suitable for packaging. A packaged device, with optical output, could be either use in the 70G (E-band) or the 120G (F-band) demonstrators. For packaging the samples were mounted on Aluminum Nitride submounts, with RF access for the modulation signal, and were sent for packaging.


The first packaged module, shown below, was successfully used in the TSA demonstrator.

(TOP) iPHOS Dual Wavelength DFB-based photonic integrated circuit, (CENTER) iPHOS dual-DFB mounted chip on AlN substrate and (BOTTOM) Wireless transmitter module using the monolithic chip 

In addition, within this workpackage, we analysed different phase locking methods to reduce the beat note noise. Phase stabilisation of an iDWSS operating at an emission frequency above 100 GHz has been demonstrated using optical injection locking, and an optical phase locked loop has been developed in the form of a semi-packaged module, which also served as a fall-back solution for the monolithic packaging.


iPHOS Dual Wavelength DFB-based optical phase locked loop module 

WP5 (Sub-TeraHertz data transmission system test) 

Data Transmission in the E-band (71-76 GHz)

During this period a 70 GHz wireless system demonstrator has been construcuted using packaged iPHOS components. The wireless transmitter of the system demonstrator set-up consists of the packaged dual-laser chip providing a quasi-correlated dual-wavelength optical output signal around 1.5µm wavelength as well as and a novel Triple Transit Region (TTR) photodiodes for high millimeter-wave output power level. The wireless transmitter of the 70 GHz wireless receiver was constructed by employing a novel packaged Schottky barrier diode featuring a WR12 waveguide output which was developed by UDE and ACST. The following figure shows the components used in the system experiments:


Packaged DMLD (left), millimeter-wave photodiode with WR-12 output (middle), and integrated planar SBD with external LNA and horn antenna.


The experimental verification of the 70 GHz iPHOS system demonstrator at UDE facilities verified the systems performances. Wireless transmission of up to 2.5 Gb/s over 6.3 m wireless span in the 71-76 GHz frequency range was demonstrated. The wireless spanwassolely limitedby lab space, maximum wireless istances in the 2 km range can be expected when increasing the transmit power and uing high gain antennas (see D5.2 report for details). The developed system is robust against laser phase noise and carrier frequency and as such allows multi-operator services. After validation, the system demonstrator was shipped to TSA by UDE for real-life testing (see D5.3 for details)


The demonstration at Thales Systemes Aeroportes, proved the capability of the iPHOS 70G system demonstrator to transmit a high data rate of 1.8 Gb/s over more than 3 m. The demonstrator was shown to about 25 people from the technical directorate, who showed great interest providing important feedback.


Overall set-up in the Thales exhibition room


Data Transmission in the F-band ( fcarrier > 90 GHz)

While the packaged module was used for the E-band data transmission modulator, we have used chips on submounts to develop wireless data transmission in the F-band with carrier frequencies above 90 GHz, targeting at 120 GHz. One demonstrator was built using the monolithic device, proving up to -12 dBm electrical power detected at the receiver. Another demonstrator was built using a chip with optical output, proving direct data modulation on the chip.


Experimental setup for the monolithic device

Eye diagrams using a chip with optical output, generating a carrier frequency of 100 GHz, with (left) 1 Gbps modulation with a modulation current of 7 mA and PD DC current 1.7 mA, where no error are detected, and (right) 2 Gbps modulation with a modulation current of 7 mA.



WP6 (Dissemination)

Dissemination towards scientific community

Peer-reviewed joint publications and conference

Several joint publications have resulted within the second year of the iPHOS project, all gathered at the project publications page of the project website


Webcast seminar

During this period, a dissemination action has been to hold a Webinar on “Sub-Terahertz Photonics for Ultra-Wideband Wireless Communications” for the members of the IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society, which took place on September 2013.


Dissemination to Early Stage Researchers by interaction with MITEPHO ITN

During this period, another dissemination action has been to participate in the MITEPHO SUMMER SCHOOL on THz Systems and Applications organized by UCL, inviting two members of the iPHOS consortium:

· Photonic integration platforms and their potential for THz application (E. Bente, University of Eindhoven), on august 27th 2013

· Integrated components for mmwave high data rate communication (G. Carpintero, UC3M) on August 28th, 2013


Dissemination towards industry

iPHOS stand at an international Photonics Fair, Laser World of Photonics 2013




iPHOS project stand at the Laser World of Photonics


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