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Photonics could help improve traffic in data centers

​Integrated high-speed, low-power, and low-cost data transmission solutions were developed under the EU H2020 COSMICC* project. The purpose of the project was to respond to exponential growth in data center traffic.

Published on 23 June 2020

Data centers are facing an exponential increase in traffic. High-speed, low-cost, and—most importantly—low-power solutions are urgently needed. The EU COSMICC project, coordinated by Leti, a CEA Tech institute, was set up to respond to this need by developing photonics-based solutions.

The four-year project produced two optical transceiver demonstrators. The design developed leverages a 3D-co-integrated silicon photonic chip and the associated control electronics. The demonstrators performed at speeds of up to 100 Gb/s. Their energy consumption is low and they offer a range of 2 km. The researchers doubled the speeds of the individual components and used CWDM (coarse wavelength division multiplexing) to transmit two signals over the same fiber. Ultimately, four signals will be used.

To push the data transmission speeds to 400 Gb/s and beyond, the project partners enhanced the photonics platform with integrated nitride broadband athermal components and hybrid III-V/Si lasers. The developments made could be of interest to startup Scintil Photonics and enable new LiDAR solutions for autonomous vehicles.


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