Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MULTIWAVE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18074
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Switzerland

Communication revolution

The Multiwave project developed advanced low-cost equipment for digital communication using fibre-optic technology. Advances in this area promise to realise significant improvements and easily replace current systems.
Communication revolution
Fibre-optic communications have come a long way since their inception, thanks to evolving technology such as wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). This type of technology can simultaneously process many optical carrier signals using different wavelengths or colours of laser light. This facilitates two-way communication over a single strand of fibre and opens up broadband communication in different forms.

As the need for digital communication continues to increase rapidly, expenses associated with WDM systems and metropolitan area networks (MAN) represent a major challenge. The technology also depends on numerous continuous-wave lasers or DFB lasers, which generally need to be tuned to different wavelengths, require their own drive electronics and incur exorbitant costs.

The EU-funded project 'Cost-effective multi-wavelength laser system' (Multiwave) developed advanced technology to meet future communication needs. The new system can replace groups or 'banks' of 100 or more wavelength lasers with a single plug-and-play device. This reduces costs of WDM systems, power consumption and space requirements, thus offering an outstanding solution for increased communication needs.

In radio-technical terms, the Multiwave system will help reduce the costs of a full C-band system with 50 channels at 50 GHz channel spacing. Moreover, it will provide huge benefits and savings for systems covering both C and L bands with 50 GHz channel spacing and for C-band systems with 25 GHz channel spacing.

The new system was designed with upgradeability, maintenance and cost-effectiveness in mind. Tests showed ultra-efficient communications on the S, C and L bands with different channel spacing, including error-free operation on the C-band that was better than current commercial DFB lasers.

The project helped educate eight PhD students in the field and published its results in publications and during conferences. The likelihood of exploitation is high and the power of digital communication may multiply as a result.

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