Spectrum Sliced Photonic Signal Processor

Ref: 12731
A thermally controlled all optical processor for low cost and superior RF signal processing.

Key advantages 

  • Tunable and reconfigurable
  • High speed and high resolution
  • Low cost and low data loss


Photonic signal processing using optical delay line structures is a powerful technique for processing high speed signals, such as microwave signals, directly in the optical domain. It can overcome the inherent electronic bottlenecks caused by limited sampling speed in conventional electronics signal processors and also offers attractive features such as tunability, low loss, large time-bandwidth product as well as immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI). However, conventional microwave photonic signal processors are structurally complex requiring either high implementation costs or sacrifices in functional performance such as tunability and reconfiguration.

The invention

Our invention describes an optical processor that has a tunable and reconfigurable finite impulse response (FIR) filter topology with bipolar taps. Based on a thermally controlled spectrum sliced optical source, our approach reduces implementation complexity and cost while retaining the superior performance of high speed and adaptive signal processing. The invention provides signal processing functions for microwave signals that are very complex or virtually impossible to carry out directly in the RF domain. This processor simultaneously achieves high-resolution and arbitrary response, opening a new way to adaptively process RF signals. Furthermore, the microwave photonic signal processors can be readily tuned across ultrawide frequency ranges at fast tuning speeds (microseconds) with extreme agility.

RF Filter design

RF Filter design


  • Broadband wireless access network
  • Radioastronomy
  • RF/microwave filters in radar systems
  • Electronic warfare.

Principal inventors

Dr Xiaoke Yi, Professor Robert Minasian, Thomas Huang & Tong Chen.

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