SPIRIT - Flexible Optical Networks of the Next Generation for Transmitting highest Data Rates

Co-funded by the European Commission

Duration: 2013 – 2016


Optical Transceivers for next-generation flexible optical networks – the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) is developing innovative programmable photonic components for metropolitan and long haul networks as part of the the EU project SPIRIT.

As a part of the EU project SPIRIT, the Fraunhofer HHI is working on novel structures of InP IQ Mach-Zehnder Modulators which offer additional functionalities such as the on-modulator digital signal processing capability. The aim is to produce low-energy, high resolution transmitters. The platform enables terabit capacity and software defined developments for metropolitan and long haul networks for bridging long distances. Innovative, programmable photonic components are integrated into a photonic platform, which has four distinct advantages:

• Low-power
• Multi-level modulators
• Flexible wavelength multiplexer/demultiplexer (MUX/DEMUX)
• High-speed coherent receivers

The whole development of the modulators, from their design all the way through to their fabrication, will take place in the Fraunhofer HHI and profits from many years of experience in the field. 

About the  SPIRIT Research Project

The SPIRIT research project focuses on programmable optical transceivers. The project is sponsored by EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) and the European Commission's Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) work programme. The total budget of the project totals 4 million Euros, of which 3 million is financed by the European Commission. The research project began on 1st December 2013 and will continue for three years.

SPIRIT involves seven leading centres of research and companies in Europe. The association, led by the National Technical University of Athens, will be comprised of  the Fraunhofer HHI, IMEC, AMO GmbH, LINKRA S.r.l., Ericsson Telecomunicazioni and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE A.E.).