Single-source chip-based frequency comb enabling extreme parallel data transmission

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review



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The Internet today transmits hundreds of terabits per second, consumes 9% of all electricity worldwide and grows by 20-30% per year(1,2). To support capacity demand, massively parallel communication links are installed, not scaling favourably concerning energy consumption. A single frequency comb source may substitute many parallel lasers and improve system energy-efficiency(3,4). We present a frequency comb realized by a non-resonant aluminium-gallium-arsenide-oninsulator (AlGaAsOI) nanowaveguide with 66% pump-tocomb conversion efficiency, which is significantly higher than state-of-the-art resonant comb sources. This enables unprecedented high data-rate transmission for chip-based sources, demonstrated using a single-mode 30-core fibre. We show that our frequency comb can carry 661 Tbit s(-1) of data, equivalent to more than the total Internet traffic today. The comb is obtained by seeding the AlGaAsOI chip with 10-GHz picosecond pulses at a low pump power (85 mW), and this scheme is robust to temperature changes, is energy efficient and facilitates future integration with on-chip lasers or amplifiers(5,6).
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)469-74
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

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