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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
  • Microsystems
  • Components
  • Brandenburg

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34 Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Research & Industry | Photonics for Communications and Sensors 2.3 Photonics for Communications and Sensors – High-Tech for Fast Data Transmission “Higher performance, miniaturisation, physical advantages through system integration of optoelectronics and microoptics, as well as photonically integrated circuits (PIC) in data and telecommunications, medical technology, industrial sensor technology, and biosciences – this is the main focus in the field of optical technologies in communications and sensors. A broad spectrum of expertise, first-class research infrastructure, short distances, and long-lasting networking are important factors for the attractiveness of Berlin Brandenburg. The intensive exchange between science and business has been living a long tradition with regular meetings of the focus group, during project developments, and visits to companies belonging to our focus area.” Dr.-Ing. Henning Schröder | Spokesperson Focus Area Photonics for Communications and Sensors, Fraunhofer IZM Digitalisation, Industry 4.0, 5G mobile communications, cloud computing, augmented reality, and new media. All these buzzwords have one thing in common. They are social trends that are driving the need for fast data transmission. Before industrialisation, it was the rivers that offered a network of natural traffic routes and supplied the first settlements and later cities. With industrialisation, rail and road networks were added. Today, it is fast data connections that are the prerequisite for the economic success of a region. The amount of data that is created, duplicated, and transmitted worldwide is expected to be around 40 zettabytes by 2020 and this figure has doubled every 18 months for many years. One zettabyte is 40 sextillion bytes, equal to the data held by 250 billion DVDs. The only technology that can move this once unimaginable amount of data around the world is based on light transmitted in fibreglass. This fibreoptic technology can be used to move, detect, direct, collect, and amplify data. Research and development in Berlin Brandenburg are focusing on the necessary components and technologies: fast laser sources, light modulation, integration into closed systems, and everything needed to interface with a digital world. A good introduction to the activities can also be found on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN7UeTh95jM There is still a need to increase the transmission capacity and reduce latencies and error rates. However, given the widespread use of optical transmission paths, the goalposts keep getting moved. The systems should become more energy-efficient, more powerful, and more robust, because neither the energy consumption nor the costs should increase despite the massive growth in data transmission. Berlin Brandenburg are in a very good position when it comes to optical data transmission. The region is home to leaders on the world market, internationally important research institutions, and highly innovative start-ups. The density of companies and institutions working in this field is only surpassed by the Silicon Valley. A diverse range of optical sensor technology is being worked on and extends into all fields of application. Miniaturization and system integration play an essential role for sensors in medical technology, autonomous driving, and Industry 4.0. An essential goal is to combine the requirements of precision and reliability in photonics with the possibilities of microsystem technology and the assembly and connection technologies of electronic systems. Diode Lasers and Photodiodes from Berlin Hold International Records Every second bit on the Internet is transferred by hardware from Berlin! In 2014, the Fraunhofer HHI spin-off u2t Photonics AG was acquired by Finisar, the world’s market leader for optical components. One reason for this was the coherent receiver by u2t Photonics that enjoyed

Cluster Report Optics and PhotonicsPhotonics for Communications and Sensors 35 a high market penetration. This receiver is used for the long-range transmission of optical signals in suboceanic fibre-optic lines, so that one out of every two bits that crosses the Atlantic Ocean touches one of the u2t Photonics receiver modules. The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI is a leader in the development of the photodetector chips for the coherent receiver modules and their transfer to manufacturing. However, such strategies are not only applied to indium phosphide. In Berlin, directly modulated vertically emitting laser diodes (VCSELs) are manufactured which, with transmission rates of up to 161 gigabits per second per channel, were among the fastest in the world when launched. The separation of design and manufacturing processes opens up new fields of application: a decisive breakthrough in the development of new applications for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) was achieved with a new indium phosphide integration platform. The aim of the platform is to make low-cost prototyping possible. Indium phosphide is used to make semiconductors for lasers, detectors, and other components in telecommunication wavelengths from 1,200 to 1,800 nm. Customers from all over the world create their own designs which they could never produce themselves. HHI handles the production separately from the design process. It processes orders from different customers on a single wafer and manufactures them very efficiently. The advantages created by these efficiencies are shared with the client. Multi-project wafer processed using a modular system © Fraunhofer HHI www.hhi.fraunhofer.de/en On this basis, V-I-Systems GmbH offers complete VCSEL modules for feeding in signals, high-speed photodetectors for reception, and individual chips. The company is also able to model chips and entire modules in 3D and precisely represent their thermal, electrical, and optical properties. www.v-i-systems.com Laser Technology in Space On-wafer chip characterisation at Fraunhofer HHI © Berlin Partner for Business and Technology – Monique Wüstenhagen Optical communications technology offers clear advantages beyond reliable broadband Internet. In recent years, it has also made the leap into space. For example, laserfree beam optics are used to communicate both between satellites in space and from the satellite to earth. The market leader is Tesat Spacecom in Backnang. The photodetectors in the Laser Communication Terminals (LCTs) sold by Tesat Spacecom were developed and manufactured at Fraunhofer HHI. In the meantime, eight satellites in orbit

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