Coherent Wavelength Switched Co-packaged Optics to Disrupt Datacenters/HPC
Project Innovation + Advantages:
The UC Santa Barbara team aims to develop a networking solution based on coherent co-packaged optics (optics and switch silicon together in the same package), which enable the transport of much more information. Coherent link technology underpins all long-distance fiberoptic communications, but today is too complicated, power hungry, and bulky to be used within datacenters. This project aims to demonstrate a simplified, highly energy-efficient coherent link architecture based on electro-absorption modulators, semiconductors that can modulate the intensity of a laser beam, in a multi-micron silicon photonics platform and powered by energy efficient quantum dot (QD) lasers. The solution employs photonic circuits based on the Rockley Photonics platform to simultaneously enable high performance, high energy efficiency, high integration densities, and significant cost reductions for co-packaged input/output (I/O). Furthermore, the coherent link technology can accommodate much more signal loss, which will enable the augmentation of datacenter networks with photonic routing and switching capability to realize dramatic gains in server productivity and overall datacenter efficiency.
If successful, developments from ENLITENED projects will result in an overall doubling in datacenter energy efficiency in the next decade through deployment of new photonic network topologies.
Photonic networks can lower the costs associated with operating datacenters, improving American economic competitiveness in this fast-developing area.