Acronym/Short Name: ALOHA
Proposal Full Name: Advanced Laser sources for Optical Home Access
Project Coordinator: Dr Wyn Meredith
Organisation: CST Global Ltd
Partners per country: 3 x DE, 2 x UK
Duration (months): 30

Project abstract

The inexorable growth in broadband communications is begining to create an enormous market for low cost single-mode InP based semiconductor lasers emitting around 1.3-1.55um. Current technologies deployed (such as GPON, EPON) operate at line rates of 1.25-2.5 Gb/s. However, satisfying future bandwidth demand will require implementation of new PON standards such as 10GPON, and extended reach (LR) PON, and high capacity WDM PON (ranging from course to ultra high density (UDWDM) multiplexing using coherent detection schemes).

The future laser source requirements for all such standards can be condensed into several drivers:

  • Improving performance to 10Gb/s transmission rates and beyond
  • Increasing output power for longer reach in uncooled packaging schemes
  • High quality spectral output: narrow optical linewith and wavelength tunability
  • Offering all the above at consumer grade pricing

This is a huge challenge to an industry that is used to producing lower volume, ultra-high specification diode sources at premium pricing. Current commercial grade sources used for high specification operation include directly modulated Distributed Feedback lasers (DFBs), Buried Heterostructure Electroabsorption-modulated lasers (EMLs) and Chirp-managed lasers (CMLs). All have inherent complexities which create yield issues or expensive packaging, thus making consumer grade pricing extremely challenging.

Our core objective in this project is to develop the device and manufacturing technology to enable a step change in the price-performance curve for InP based laser components for NGN PON emerging standards thus accelerating the transition to mass market, consumer grade components.