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Recent Developments in Polymer-Based Photonic Components for Disruptive Capacity Upgrade in Data Centers

: De Felipe, D.; Kleinert, M.; Zawadzki, C.; Polatynski, A.; Irmscher, G.; Brinker, W.; Rehbein, W.; Moehrle, M.; Bach, H.-G.; Keil, N.; Schell, M.


Journal of Lightwave Technology PP (2016), Nr.99, 1 S.
ISSN: 0733-8724
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Recently developed photonic components for next-generation datacenter systems based on HHI´s PolyBoard integration platform are reviewed. Hybrid-integrated transmitters and receivers, including optical functionalities such as tunable lasers, polarization manipulators, 1x2 switches and variable optical attenuators, are presented. The flexibility of those devices provides the possibility of generating, routing and detecting multiple optical data flows, offering the potential of aggregating traffics of 1 Tb/s and beyond. In addition, vertically-stacked polymer waveguide structures are presented, opening the way towards the third dimension in photonic integration and allowing increasing the transmission capacity beyond the physical limit of standard single mode fibers. The freedom in the arrangement of the polymer waveguides allow for the matching to different multi-core fiber types, providing the possibility of processing in parallel the different optical flows. By means of micro-machining 45° mirrors on the different stack levels, the 3D stacked waveguide structure can act as an interface between multi-core fibers and planar optoelectronic devices such as photodiodes and laser diodes. Furthermore, a novel concept for a 4x4 three-dimensional optical switch based on 3D multi-mode interferometers is presented and numerically proven, showing potential for its application as interface between multi-core fibers and planar optoelectronic devices, as well as offering the possibility of reconfigurable NxN switching matrices.