CHTM Authors Featured in Laser World Focus

January 17, 2018 - CHTM

Marek Osinski

Marek Osinski

CHTM Faculty, Marek Osinski and Gennady Smolyakov have recently been featured in Laser World Focus magazine for their work on ultrafast lasers. Injection-locked microring diode lasers, to be exact.

Ultrafast monolithically integrated optoelectronic circuits with strongly injection-locked microring lasers could increase optical-fiber-based transmission capacity tenfold.

As the telecom and IT industries converge, the communications landscape is fast becoming user-driven, with the mass adoption of mobile broadband forcing network transformations. A massive growth in traffic volume as well as in the number of connected devices is expected. The fifth generation of mobile networks (5G) is the next major phase of mobile telecommunications beyond the currently implemented 4G networks, and is foreseen as the enabler for the Networked Society—a vision first introduced by Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) in 2011 wherein widespread Internet connectivity will transform everyday life for individuals and communities.1

Gennady Smolyakov

Gennady Smolyakov

In the Networked Society, everything that can benefit from a connection will be connected. New traffic types and data services will emerge, notably machine-to-machine communications to support concepts such as the smart grid, smart homes and cities, and e-health. Compared to 4G, the forecasts for 5G envision 1000X higher mobile data volume per area, 10-100X more connected devices, and 10-100X higher typical user data rate.2 As a result, 5G networks will have to handle extremely high aggregate data rates and much lower latencies than currently deployed 4G networks. To put this in perspective, current 4G networks transfer data at a speed of 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s).

Current projections of optical data rates in 5G networks include 10, 40, 100, 200, and 400 Gbit/s as well as 1 Tbit/s,3with a range of services such as multilayer software-defined networking, elastic optical network, hybrid optical switching, network function virtualization, optical cloud, and wireless backhaul. While standards have not yet been established, the planned 5G revolution is expected to push data transfer speeds to at least 40 Gbit/s.

To accomplish 5G optical transport, a new generation of optical components will be required, mainly based on integrated photonics, with low cost, small footprint, and reduced power consumption. These new optical advances will be essential to unlock the full potential of 5G, enabling a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective transport platform for the Networked Society.

The continuing increase of transmission rates and capacity at all levels of telecommunication and wireless networks raises demand for very high-speed, low-cost optical transmitters. Our team at the University of New Mexico is working towards experimental demonstration of a new concept of ultrafast transmitters for 4G and 5G wireless networks and data centers, based on strongly injection-locked semiconductor ring lasers.

This article has been exerpted from the original publication here.