Space Division Multiplexing with Multi-Core Fiber for Energy Efficient Integrated Photonic Networking Technologies

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Exploratory Topics
Santa Barbara, California
Project Term:
04/09/2020 - 07/08/2021

Critical Need:

This topic seeks to support entrepreneurial energy discoveries, by identifying and supporting disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies within small businesses and collaborations with universities and national labs. These projects have the potential for large-scale impact, and if successful could create new paradigms in energy technology with the potential to achieve significant reductions in U.S. energy consumption, energy-related imports, or energy-related emissions. These specific projects address technology areas across ARPA-E’s mission spaces, with particular focus on: Advanced bioreactors; Approaches and tools to create enhanced geothermal systems; Non-evaporative dehydration and drying technologies; Approaches to significantly enhance the rate and/or potential scale of carbon mineralization; Separation of CO2 from ambient air (direct air capture); High-rate separation of dissolved inorganic carbon from the ocean to produce a CO2 stream; Advanced trees and other engineered biological systems for carbon sequestration; Innovative deep ocean collector designs for mining polymetallic nodules; Environmental sensors capable of operation in deep ocean environments for mining polymetallic nodules; and Non-carbothermic smelting technologies. Awards under this topic are working to support research and establish potential new areas for technology development, while providing ARPA-E with information that could lead to new focused funding programs. The focus of these projects is to support exploratory research to establish viability, proof-of-concept demonstration for new energy technology, and/or modeling and simulation efforts to guide development for new energy technologies.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

To further the development of energy efficient integrated photonic networking technologies for datacenters and high performance computing, Ultra-low Loss Technologies (ULL) proposes to revolutionize chip-to-chip interconnects with massively parallel photonic channels based on photonic integrated circuit technology and spatial division multiplexing (SDM). This technology achieves between 10-1000X reduction in loss compared to competing technologies, which translates directly into lower power consumption.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. James Zahler
Project Contact:
Dr. Renan Moreira
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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