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Adva Optical Networking has been chosen to participate in a research project focused on the development of a new generation of photonic components for optical networking applications.

The grant-based project – entitled ‘Colorless and Coolerless Components for Low-Power Optical Networks’ (C-3PO) – is focused on increasing the communications network capacity for the next generation of optical networking applications.

Recent studies have begun to look at the power consumption of optical networks and initial conclusions indicate that today’s approach to networking is not sustainable for the future.

Individual optical components consume a large amount of power, up to tens of watts per component, and making the components larger to accommodate future network capacity needs will only increase the level of power required.

In addition, as components run hotter, the energy required to cool the buildings that house the infrastructure can increase power consumption by as much as a factor of six.

To address this problem, participants in the C-3PO project will undertake a disruptive approach to optical components by developing cost-effective, cooler-less, silica-based integrated components that are not wavelength specific (for example, colourless) but that offer high performance for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) applications.

The deliverables at the end of the three-year project will include low-cost, photonic-integrated transceivers, which obviate the need for expensive, thermoelectrically cooled, tuneable lasers.

An additional outcome will be an approach to electronics/photonics integration via novel electronic chip devices that are performance optimised for low-power consumption and that imitate integration with the arrays of integrated optical devices.

These new components are projected to deliver savings on equipment in any given year, even into the hundreds of millions of dollars from data- and switching-centre applications alone.

‘The components that result from C-3PO will be integrated into our FSP 3000 platform, which will enable our customers to automatically benefit from lower power consumption and operational expenses,’ said Christoph Glingener, Adva Optical Networking’s chief technology officer.

Adva Optical Networking

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