As part of the European Union’s innovation and research program “Horizon 2020,” ADVA Optical Networking announced in Dresden last Thursday that it will be lending a major hand to the challenge of designing and producing unique advanced optical components as part of Horizon 2020’s DIMENSION project.
Which stands for “Directly Modulated Lasers on Silicon” is a project that aims to develop powerful, cost-effective technology that will enable new and revolutionary data centers. Led by the Dresden University of Technology, four EU member states (The UK, Germany, Switzerland and Greece) have joined together to form a consortium of industry and research experts to make the incredible technology happen.
The researchers and professionals involved in the project will be working from two research centers: Athens Information Technology and Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics. Currently, the three largest industry partners involved are Optocap, IBM Research – Zurich and newly-added ADVA Optical Networking.
In addition representatives from these European tech juggernauts, the project will also provide unparalleled research and experience opportunities for ambitious students from a number of European universities.
In order for these groundbreaking new data centers to be possible, the future hinges on the optimization of what is known as Data Center Interconnect (DCI) transport. Michael Eiselt, the director of advanced technology for ADVA Optical Neworking, says that improving this DCI efficiency is vital to the success of future data centers in the face of increasing technological demand.
“By integrating the three distinct technologies of silicon photonics, electronics and active photonics, we’re giving data centers what they need to meet tomorrow’s demands,” he told reporters.
According to an article from GlobeNewswire, the technical goal of the DIMENSION project is to develop a platform for advanced optical integrated circuits. The result of their efforts, researchers and engineers hope, will be an advanced technology involving lasers built using specialized active materials that are embedded in silicon chips.
Bert Offrein, manager of photonics at IBM Research – Zurich, explained how DIMENSION utilizes the broad range of expertise and unique perspectives of professionals from a wide variety of fields to create the most well-rounded result.
“DIMENSION … enables us to address the complete value chain of directly modulated lasers, from materials research to application,” he said. Of the value of the technology for data centers, he told reporters: “by enhancing interconnections at different reaches, from centimeters up to kilometers, we’ll be able to reduce size, cost and power on links between boards, computers and facilities.“
Thanks to the variety of partners involved in developing the final technological output of the project, the DIMENSION project aims to address every aspect of its production, from initial research to product assembly and overall packaging design. In this way, the project seeks to do more than just provide new information, providing a fully-usable product to EU companies.
ADVA Optical Networking has been providing intelligent telecommunications hardware, software and services for twenty years. The DIMENSION project has already received funding from a grant agreement under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, and is expected to run through the end of January in 2020.
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