1. Singapore 27 March, 2013 -- In collaboration with Fujikura Ltd., researchers from
Singapore’s A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) have pioneered the world’s first
40 to 60Gbps silicon-based optical modulators with advanced multilevel modulation
formats for high speed long-haul data transmission. This represents a major advance
towards low cost, ultra-high bandwidth and small footprint optical communications on
2. The adoption of multilevel modulations, in a simple Quadrature phase-shift keying
(QPSK) and differential-QPSK (DQPSK) format, significantly increases the information
capacity and thus total data communication throughput for a given optical channel.
3. Comprising a set of silicon phase-shifters that are integrated in a nested Mach-
Zehnder configuration, the modulator has demonstrated high communication speeds of
more than 40 Gbps and more than 60Gbps for DQPSK and QPSK respectively. For
instance, for a channel grid spacing of 50 GHz, 40G DQPSK results in a spectral
efficiency that is 2 times that of 20G with conventional on-off keying (OOK) format which
is widely used commercially at present. Compared to conventional Lithium Niobate
modulators, the new modulator is much smaller in footprint and is significantly cheaper
to fabricate as it is CMOS-compatible.
4. This significant breakthrough is a progressive effort of years of strategic partnership
between IME and Fujikura since 2006 to develop optical telecommunications
component technologies. In the last 2 years, this joint effort has resulted in the release
of an evaluation module of 10 Gbps silicon modulator that features excellent
performance for mass production. The development in the silicon optical modulator
made by IME and Fujikura demonstrates that reaching ultra-high performance levels on
silicon platform technology is now a reality, thus providing a huge impetus towards
driving future ultra-high bandwidth optical communications.
5. “We are proud to have jointly achieved this breakthrough with Fujikura,” said Prof.
Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director, IME. “This will fuel the design and development
prospects of next-generation long-haul telecommunication systems as well as truly bring
low cost, high performance optical communications to the masses.”
6. “This joint effort is an excellent proof of strong synergy between IME and Fujikura.
We open the door to expand silicon based modulators in next-generation optical
telecommunication networks. Fujikura will accelerate the product development to meet
the needs of increase in transmission capacity,” said Kenji Nishide, General Manager of
Optics and Electronics Laboratory, Fujikura.
7. This remarkable achievement was recently reported on 20 March, 2013 at
OFC/NEOEC 2013, the largest global conference and exposition on optical
communications and networking that was held in Anaheim, CA, USA.
About Institute of Microelectronics (IME)
The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) is a research institute of the Science and
Engineering Research Council of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
(A*STAR). Positioned to bridge the R&D between academia and industry, IME's mission
is to add value to Singapore's semiconductor industry by developing strategic
competencies, innovative technologies and intellectual property; enabling enterprises to
be technologically competitive; and cultivating a technology talent pool to inject new
knowledge to the industry. Its key research areas are in integrated circuits design, advanced packaging, bioelectronics and medical devices, MEMS, nanoelectronics, and
photonics. For more information about IME, please visit http://www.ime.a-star.edu.sg.
About Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for
fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and
innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical
sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centre, which are
located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity. A*STAR
supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and
industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the
universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.
For more information about A*STAR, please visit http://www.a-star.edu.sg.
About Fujikura Limited
Fujikura is a 128-year old multinational company based in Tokyo, Japan, with
businesses in optical telecommunication network systems, power transmission systems,
electric wires and cables, magnetic wires, automotive wire harness and related products,
and electronic components. Its annual revenue as of last fiscal year stands at about
JPY 500B. (www.fujikura.co.jp)
Institute of Microelectronics
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