Online seminar urges ‘unleash potential of optoelectronics, drive standards and industry advancement

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The 2021 Online Seminar of the Global Optoelectronic Industry has been held. Co-hosted by the International Photonics & Electronics Committee (IPEC) and China International Optoelectronic Exposition (CIOE) and co-organized by the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), the theme was ‘unleash the potential of optoelectronics, drive standards and industry advancement.’

The seminar explored high-bandwidth and large-capacity optoelectronic communication technologies and popular photoelectric sensing applications. The first half focused on challenging the limits of optical transmission. Wei Leping, chairman of Technology Steering Committee of China Telecom, shared his opinions on network development trends from the perspective of carriers, while Liang Yibo, senior product director of HiSilicon Optoelectronics, introduced the latest progress of beyond 400G optoelectronic standards. He noted that 800G transmission will be standardised after 2025. 

Prof. Alan Willner explained the cutting-edge research of optical communications, and analyzed the possibility of using free space optics (FSO) technology to expand the carrier range to the terahertz and visible light spectra. This will greatly broaden the application scope of optical communications for long-distance, high-bandwidth, and low-latency transmission in the sea, land, air, and aerospace scenarios. 

In the conventional transmission technology field, the competition between coherent and direct detection is fierce. Architecture using self-homodyne coherent detection features a good balance between costs and power consumption. Prof. Tang Ming from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology commented that this architecture is a typical simplified coherent solution and is expected to be widely used in transmission of 800G and higher rates. It also poses many new challenges to digital signal processing, optoelectronic devices, and optical links.

Prof. Li Xun from the McMaster University shared the research progress of high-speed lasers and modulators. Currently, the 3dB bandwidth of DMLs using the multi-segment architecture can reach 60–80 GHz, meeting the requirements of 100G NRZ and 200G PAM4. New technologies such as transistor lasers and spin polarization modulated lasers can increase the modulation bandwidth to 120–200 GHz, which may break the modulation rate bottleneck of traditional technologies.

In the second half of the seminar, participants discussed new optoelectronic application fields such as optical sensing. In opening remarks, Carlos Lee, secretary general of EPIC, reiterated that EPIC and IPEC, both standards organisations in the optoelectronic field, will continue to maintain an open and cooperative relationship to jointly promote the healthy and prosperous development of the industry.

Frank Chang, chairman of the IPEC Advance Research Work Group and Chief Engineer of Source Photonics, spoke about the latest progress of the co-packaged optics (CPO) solution. This solution is designed for 800G and higher-rate transmission in the future. Frank also demonstrated the application of optoelectronic technology in various fields including laser radar, laser display, and sensing, showing a broad blueprint for new applications of photoelectric sensing.

Prof. Takehiro from KDDI shed light on the application of space division multiplexing (SDM) and the latest research and experiment progress of MCFs. He believed that in the future, MCFs will be applied in extensive scenarios such as submarine communications for transoceanic transmission, as well as FTTH. Prof. Murayama from the University of Tokyo commented that optical fibre sensors are light and thin and feature anti-electromagnetic interference and high reliability. With the distributed sensing architecture, customers can easily obtain abundant detection data in real time. In the future, this technology can be widely used in different fields such as medical and health care, automobile sensing, and the long-term monitoring of industrial equipment. Looking forward, optical fibre sensing has huge application potentials in the consumer market.

Finally, Prof. Martin Schell from the HHI presented the latest research progress of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in the optical communications and sensing fields. He believes that PICs' advantages are their simple architecture and low power consumption for upcoming high-baud-rate communications scenarios, as well as their wide development potential in lidar, optical computing, and quantum communications fields.