Results of EU embedded optical interconnect project announced at Photonics West

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At the OPTO 2014 conference that took place in February as part of Photonics West, the results of an EU-funded collaborative R&D project, ‘System Embedded Photonics in Access Networks’ (SEPIANet), were presented. The project, that ran from July 2011 to 31 December 2013, has resulted in the first ever successful demonstration of system embedded planar glass waveguide based optical backplane and pluggable optical interconnect technologies.

The SEPIANet project was coordinated by Xyratex, a provider of data storage technology based in the UK, in order to develop technology solutions for embedded optical architectures in access network head-end systems. This would allow for a significant reduction in power consumption and an increase in energy efficiency, system density and bandwidth scalability. The SEPIANet consortium comprises of the organisations Xyratex, Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM), ILFA Feinstleitertechnik, TerOpta, VI Systems and Conjunct.

Richard Pitwon of Xyratex presented the paper titled: ‘Demonstration of Fully-Enabled Data Centre Subsystem with Embedded Optical Interconnect’ on the 5 February at the OPTO 2014 conference. The paper describes some of Xyratex’s recent achievements in deploying embedded optical interconnect into data storage systems as an enabler for future Exascale data centre architectures.

VI Systems,  a developer and manufacturer of components for optical communication based in Germany, developed a 1300nm VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) for the project, which it displayed at its booth at Photonics West from 4-6 February. Fraunhofer IZM also hosted a demonstration of this joint accomplishment at its booth.