“Photonics: enabling present and future telecommunications”

“Zhorez Alferov” named lecture series Edited by Dr. Pavel Cheben, National Research Council of Canada
 
          Organized by the University of Havana and the Cuban Physical Society

 

Dr. Prof. Iñigo Molina Fernández Universidad de Málaga, España

 

Last Tuesday, January 29th, took place this conference in the Physics Faculty, University of Havana.

 

In a very short period of time, telecommunications traffic has completely changed from pure analog signals, mainly related to voice telephone services, to high speed digital data required by modern computer based communications. This change would not have been possible without the advent of optical communications based in lasers and fiber optics. For many years, optical communications have targeted medium and long distance scenarios as paradigmatically exemplified by transatlantic submarine systems. The evolution in this field has been impressive: from 1956 first coaxial based transatlantic cable carrying 36 telephone channels, to the highest capacity fiber optic submarine cable offering the incredible amount of 144Tb/s, there has been a x63 Millions increase in data capacity.
 
In the near future, efforts of the optical communications community will focus on short and very short reach communications required to sustain the explosive growth of the data center market. Photonics, the art of molding the light at the micrometer scale, will be the technology supporting this evolution.
 
In this talk, we will have the opportunity to deepen into the details of some of the photonics integrated circuits which have been developed to allow the transition from simple on-off-keying modulations to more advanced polarization multiplexed complex modulations used in modern fiber optics systems. We will introduce some of the recent results in one of the most promising photonic technologies: silicon photonics, which due to its compatibility with microelectronic CMOS, is called to play a fundamental role in the photonics-electronics integration.