Hybrid Access - Hybrid Silicon Photonics for Next-generation Optical Access

Hybrid Silicon Photonics for Next-generation Optical Access


The objective of this project is to advance the state-of-the-art in access networks and address the EU targets as defined by European Commission’s “Europe 2020” strategy for smart growth. The EU plans to boost smart growth through Digital Agenda for Europe by setting fast and ultra-fast Internet access as its Pillar IV and that “Europe needs download rates of 30 Mbps for all of its citizens and at least 50% of European households subscribing to internet connections above 100 Mbps by 2020.” To be able to reach this goal, companies and universities in EU are participating in the development of next-generation optical access (NGOA) as defined by NGOA System Concepts. The preferred next-generation passive-optical access network solution for new installations is passive-optical network with wavelength division multiplexing (WDM-PON). The present cost of an installed WDM-PON solution (bidirectional link) is $600 per client, while the installers are asking for cost below $300 per client to facilitate wide adoption. Furthermore, devices with required performance (temperature and ageing stability) and cost are not commercially available today

The overall objective of this project is research and development of components needed for realizing highly-integrated and energy efficient optical transceivers and components for WDM-PON. The components developed will be based on photonic integration using silicon photonics integrated with compound semiconductors (“hybrid silicon photonics”) to realize elements that provide gain, modulation, guiding and detection of light. Hybrid silicon photonics is the technology of choice to accomplish this, because the ability to make photonic devices on silicon promises to revolutionize communications by lowering the size and cost of optical communication components. It is a field that has seen rapid growth and dramatic changes in past years due to high integration potential and maturity and scale of chip processing silicon offers.


  • Principal Investigator (PI): Tin Komljenović, Ph.D.

  • Institutions: University of California, Santa Barbara, USA and University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatia

  • Project duration: 36 months


Project Team:

The research team consists of one PostDoc (PI) Tin Komljenović, one full professor John E. Bowers and one assistant professor Dubravko Babić.