The future of optical communications
Payne, D.N. (2000) The future of optical communications. In, Northern Optics/EOSAM 2000, Uppsala, Sweden, Jun 2000.
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The extraordinary progress of optical communications over the last decade or so has led some commentators to suggest that the photonics community has done too good a job in satisfying the demand for bandwidth. In hindsight, historians and economists will point out that a glut of any commodity, in this case bandwidth, inevitably results in a crash in the market. While this may be the case at present, the underlying growth in optical telecommunication remains firm and will surely eventually stabilise. The challenge is to develop the technologies that will be required once the market returns. It is very clear that cost is the next challenge. For the first time, many research laboratories have scaled back their advanced work on 40Gbit/s systems and above, multi-wavelength terabit transmission and large-scale optical switches to focus on low-cost platform technologies. While integration is widely accepted as the route to cost reduction, it is far from clear which of these will offer the greatest opportunity for production on a large scale. None can at present integrate light generation, detection, switching, filtering, modulation, amplification and, most difficult of all, isolation. While there is hope for new approaches, such as nano-technology and photonic bandgaps, currently the approach is to design around limitations and develop new subsystem architectures which offer component sharing and associated cost benefits.
With telecommunications currently in the doldrums, many opportunities exist to leverage into other markets the huge investment made over the last decade in fibre communications. Examples will be drawn from fields as diverse as sensing, defence, the bio-sciences and industrial processing. The latter is currently a hot topic and is fuelled by the ever-decreasing cost of photons from high-power diode stacks and bars. Using cladding-pumped fibre lasers as brightness converters, we have recently reported over 1kW of optical power from a single fibre laser. Telecommunications components and technology have contributed in a substantial way to this extraordinary result.
The talk will review some of the component technologies which continue to impact the progress towards lower cost photonic networks and speculate on new developments.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Q Science > QC Physics
|Divisions:||University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Optoelectronics Research Centre
|Date Deposited:||22 Aug 2008|
|Last Modified:||02 Mar 2012 12:11|
|Contributors:||Payne, D.N. (Author)
|RDF:||RDF+N-Triples, RDF+N3, RDF+XML, Browse.|
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