A Photonic Circuit Architecture Allowing Faster, More Efficient Transfer of Large Amounts of Data


A technical paper titled “Massively scalable Kerr comb-driven silicon photonic link” was published by researchers at Columbia University and Air Force Research Laboratory.


“The growth of computing needs for artificial intelligence and machine learning is critically challenging data communications in today’s data-centre systems. Data movement, dominated by energy costs and limited ‘chip-escape’ bandwidth densities, is perhaps the singular factor determining the scalability of future systems. Using light to send information between compute nodes in such systems can dramatically increase the available bandwidth while simultaneously decreasing energy consumption. Through wavelength-division multiplexing with chip-based microresonator Kerr frequency combs, independent information channels can be encoded onto many distinct colours of light in the same optical fibre for massively parallel data transmission with low energy. Although previous high-bandwidth demonstrations have relied on benchtop equipment for filtering and modulating Kerr comb wavelength channels, data-centre interconnects require a compact on-chip form factor for these operations. Here we demonstrate a massively scalable chip-based silicon photonic data link using a Kerr comb source enabled by a new link architecture and experimentally show aggregate single-fibre data transmission of 512 Gb s−1 across 32 independent wavelength channels. The demonstrated architecture is fundamentally scalable to hundreds of wavelength channels, enabling massively parallel terabit-scale optical interconnects for future green hyperscale data centres.”

Find the technical paper here. Published: June 2023.

Rizzo, A., Novick, A., Gopal, V. et al. Massively scalable Kerr comb-driven silicon photonic link. Nat. Photon. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-023-01244-7

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