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Photonic Integrated Comb Source: An Economic Feasibility Study

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PICOMB (Photonic Integrated Comb Source: An Economic Feasibility Study)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-03-31

The overall objective of the PICOMB innovation project is to deliver a mass market, production ready Optical Frequency Comb source suitable for deployment in long-haul telecommunication network equipment. This will address the problem known as “the capacity crunch”, which refers to the fact that the major optical fiber networks that carry 99% of the world’s data traffic today are running out of bandwidth.

The objective of phase one of PICOMB is to carry out an economic feasibility study to feed into a fully developed business plan that will attract both SME Instrument Phase 2 funding, and also private sector funding in the form of either venture capital or a strategic investment from a European market leading network equipment manufacturer.
The sub-objectives of the economic feasibility study that will feed into the business plan are:
• To thoroughly analyse the market through interaction with potential customers, and industry analysts
• To develop a deep understanding of the customer specification requirements and what they would be willing to pay for them
• To gain firm insight into manufactured cost, including supply chain investigation and partner search
• To carry out a freedom to operate search of the patent landscape.
The work carried out fell under four tasks, namely Market Analysis, Cost and Capital Requirements, Customer Requirements survey, and Patent Landscape and Freedom to Operate search. Results of this study are confidential, and available to authorised personnel, in the report.

In parallel to this study, which focuses on the economic feasibility of the innovation, the technical feasibility is being demonstrated through developments within the Big Pipes FP7 STREP, where proof of concept demonstrators have been produced and early prototypes of the PIC are being developed.
The outcomes of the overall project will be:
• The highly disruptive optical comb source technology will enter the market and begin to displace the single wavelength lasers that have been used in this market for two decades.
• Pilot Photonics Ltd. will significantly grow its business resulting in the expansion of its employment by ten times within three years creating jobs and economic growth for Europe.
• The introduction of Optical Frequency Comb sources that that allow data to be packed much more densely into an optical fiber than is achievable today with independent single mode lasers. This will enable the Internet, and as a result the European and global economies, to continue to grow.
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