Photonic Integrated Circuits for the Access Network

Peter J. Williams, Paul M. Charles, and Andrew C. Carter

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are single chips of semiconductor onto which a number of optical and optoelectronic subcomponents are monolithically integrated to form, for instance, an optical terminal circuit. The motivation is the same as was the case at the dawn of the Si circuit age: the promise of reduced cost and size, increased component reliability, and more practical solutions to systems' requirements compared to implementations based on discrete devices. There is a very wide range of potential applications for PICs, including many within telecommunications, such as optical access terminals, LANs, trunk links, and intraexchange links. Military/avionic applications are in networking, EW/ECM (Electronic Warfare/Electronic Counter Measures) and sensing.

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