MOICANA aims to integrate InP quantum dot lasers on silicon photonics

AUTH-led project to develop cheaper and more power-efficient innovations in photonic integrated transmitters. MOICANA is a newly-announced EU Horizon 2020 R&D project that is aiming to develop “fundamental innovations” in the field of photonic integrated transmitters – essentially to make them cheaper and more power-efficient.

Due to run until the end of 2020, the project involves a consortium of eight partners, coordinated by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece. The project is funded under the H2020 ICT 2016-2017 – Photonics KET Call and is the initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership.

The researchers commented, The wide-spread adoption of optical transceivers in a broad range of application domains is urgently calling for a low-cost, high power efficient and large volume manufacturing integration technology that can meet the different specifications required in every application sector and urgently scale up to serve the growing telecom and datacom markets.

The current promoted solutions to tackle this demand are favouring silicon photonics-based technologies that still feature a major drawback. They need complex and expensive hybrid integration substrates, since they rely on externally coupled InP laser sources for the final assembly, while the redundant testing for the pre- and post- processed coupled laser is inducing an additional cost-increasing factor.

MOICANA aims to demonstrate what the teams calls “breakthrough performance” by synergizing the best in class from the worlds of photonic integration: quantum dot indium phosphide structures as the III-V light source material; and silicon nitride from the silicon photonics for the passive platform side.

It will be targeting the highest possible cost effectiveness in mass fabrication of optical transmitter through the development of the technological background for the epitaxy of the Quantum Dot InP components directly on Si by so-called Selective Area Growth.

‘Versatile and scalable’

The AUTH-led team commented, “MOICANA will highlight its versatile and scalable perspective and its broad market take-up credentials through the demonstrations of a whole new series of cooler-less, energy-efficient and high-performance single-channel and WDM transmitter modules for Data Center Interconnects, for 5G Mobile fronthaul and for coherent communication applications.

The consortium is bringing together four industrial partners, and four significant academic and research institutes in the PIC and Photonic Systems value chain. The project participants are the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Kassel (Germany), Technion – the Technical University of Israel, III-V lab (France), Mellanox Technologies (Israel), Ligentec (Switzerland), Adva (Germany) and VLC Photonics (Spain).