Postgrad student has more bandwidth than most

5 May 2010

Video conferencing and telecommunications are heading towards being instantaneous due to research being carried out by young postgraduate student, Trung Duc Vo, working as part of CUDOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, at the University of Sydney's School of Physics.

"The growing demand for higher bandwidth is a major motivation behind the push to increase the transmission rate per-channel of optical systems. My research will lead to communication speeds around 100 times faster than the current networks but could be increased by another factor of ten," says Vo, who was first author on an acclaimed paper in which these world-first results were presented in the prestigious post-deadline session at the Optical Fibre Communications Conference recently held in San Diego, USA.

Vo is part of a collaboration with the Australian National University and Danish Technical University that have achieved unprecedented capacity per-channel with efficient bandwidth utilization that could be further enhanced by using advanced modulation formats.

Vo is also researching how optical time division multiplexing (OTDM) acts as a method of allowing Tbaud data generation by avoiding the usual electrical-optical-electrical conversion in processing information. "Whereas transistors switch on and off and generate heat, photons hardly heat at all and cooling time is a thousand times faster than electronics," he explains.

"Electrical-optical-electrical conversion is like driving in heavy traffic then you hit the freeway and you're zooming along then you take the exit and you're stuck in traffic again. This is what we're all currently using but 'optics only' is the way of the future."

"Our approach utilises a photonic chip solution which is potentially very simple and compact. By using photons and optics only we'll be communicating on the freeway the whole time. It means better communication, more bandwidth yet less energy being used."

Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, said, "This result represents another CUDOS record for optical processing. We have demonstrated the feasibility of a Tbaud Ethernet link using a photonic chip that generates the signal at the transmitter and uses the same chip to optically switch the signal at the receiver. This is very exciting research."

Vo adds, "At the Tbaud receiver, we demonstrated error-free demultiplexing of a 1.28 Tbit/s single wavelength, return-to-zero signal to 10 Gbit/s via the nonlinear process of four-wave mixing (FWM). Excellent performance, including high FWM conversion efficiency and no indication of an error-floor, was achieved. This shows the great potential for Tbaud signal processing in these compact nonlinear Chalcogenide waveguides." Or more simply put more bandwidth and less energy.

Contact: Alison Muir

Phone: 02 9036 5194

Email: 161b38583c0c6620410b252929411339572e442d111677272d