The first TOADM (Tunable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer) device capable of selecting and routing signals in network nodes in a purely optical manner, built on a silicon chip of only 2 mm2, has been demonstrated. The result, that will enable the growth of broadband in the optical networks of new 5G/6G communication systems and in both classical and quantum intra and inter-datacenter connections, has just been published on the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications in a paper titled Polarization-transparent silicon photonic add-drop multiplexer with wideband hitless tuneability.
The achievement is the result of the cooperation between Photonic Devices group, coordinated by Prof. Andrea Melloni and Prof. Francesco Morichetti, and I3N Lab (Innovative Integrated Instrumentation for the Nanoscience), represented by Prof. Marco Sampietro and Prof. Giorgio Ferrari, both from DEIB.
Polifab played a key role in the backend activities for the assembly of the photonic and electronic CMOS ASICs, both realized in commercial foundries, for system experiments. The dynamic allocation of hundreds of optical broadband signals (200 Gbit/s and more) over a frequency range of more than 10,000 GHz is demonstrated.
Link to the paper on Nature Communications: