Faster High-Capacity Internet Networks Via Photonics

Next-generation lasers are being used by scientists to create light-speed broadband connections and to remove data bottlenecks that could cause the internet to stall as demand grows.

The researchers are developing long-wavelength, high-capacity communications by combining vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) sources with photonic integrated circuits, optical switches, and semiconductor optical amplifiers. It could pave the way for high-speed metropolitan connectivity and new smart services such as future gaming and on-demand TV development.

VCSELs are less expensive to produce and more efficient than traditional laser sources. The ultra-fast components have the potential to revolutionize smart services that consume massive amounts of data for future connected citizens. Sending 28,000 HD movies would take as little as 1 second with transmission rates of up to 112 Tb/s.

VCSELs have been used in data communications for intra-data center short-distance connections. Using these infrared lasers for long-wavelength and high-capacity communications is a novel idea.

The PASSION team chose VCSEL light sources for their high transmission efficiency and low power consumption.

VCSELs could be the next big leap in metro communications. They are widely used in data communications, such as intra-data center short-distance connections. They offer low driving current, high light-power conversion efficiency, and high directivity.

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