The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute participates in the innovative EU-Horizon 2020 research project TERIPHIC, which kicked-off last week in Berlin. The goal of the project is to go beyond current 400G standards and develop 800Gb/s pluggable modules with 8 lanes and 1.6 Tb/s mid-board modules with 16 lanes having at least 2 km reach. To address the challenges entailed, TERIPHIC will leverage photonic integration concepts and develop a seamless chain of component fabrication, assembly automation and module characterization processes as the basis for high-volume production lines of Terabit modules. The project consortium consists of Fraunhofer HHI (DE), ficonTEC (DE), III-V Lab (FR), Mellanox Technologies (IL), Telecom Italia (IT) and is coordinated by ICCS of the NTU Athens (GR).
TERIPHIC will bring together EML arrays in the O-band, PD arrays and a polymer chip that will act as the host platform for the integration of the arrays and the wavelength mux-demux of the lanes. The integration will rely on butt-end-coupling steps, which will be automated via the development of module specific alignment and attachment processes on commercial equipment. The assembly process will be based on the standard methodologies of Mellanox and the use of polymer FlexLines for the interconnection of the TOSA/ROSA with the drivers and the TIAs.
Fraunhofer HHI is the core technology provider in the project, providing the PolyBoard platform for hosting mux-demux functionalities and hybrid integration of active components, the PolyBoard FlexLine technology for electrical connectivity, the EML technology for light generation, modulation and amplification in a single chip and the high bandwidth PD technology. The TOSA/ROSA assembly automation will be also developed in house at Fraunhofer HHI, using assembly machines from ficonTEC.
Ultimately, the new transceiver design introduced by TERIPHIC will allow significant cost savings due to assembly automation at the TOSA/ROSA part but also at the packaging level, resulting in a cost of <1€/Gbps for the transceiver modules.