PUNCH will develop a new solution for optical switching that addresses several industrial requirements, including reliable and low latency communication with guaranteed service quality, less network congestion (and data loss or delay), lower power consumption and reduced cost of transmission interfaces.
New optical switches can speed up the backbone of our data networks. The EU-funded PUNCH project will develop a new solution for optical switching that addresses several industrial requirements, including reliable and low latency communication with guaranteed service quality, less network congestion (and data loss or delay), lower power consumption and reduced cost of transmission interfaces. To do so, PUNCH will develop novel photonic components and corresponding interface electronics, establish scalable integration and photonics packaging processes, and manufacture different prototypes which will be demonstrated and validated in industrial 5G and data centre test-beds.
PUNCH offers a solution for time-deterministic and time-sensitive networks by developing a new optical switching paradigm which (I) breaks the trade-off between flexibility (ultra-dynamic reconfigurability) and determinism (guaranteed latency and jitter) by offering an all-to-all reconfigurable interconnect; (II) reduces congestion by activating bandwidth steering so that additional capacity can be allocated between hot nodes in the network; (III) provides unparalleled dynamics and bandwidth efficiency by further enabling multiplexing in the time domain with fast reconfigurable capability. A 2×2×8Lambda wavelength selective switching element will be scaled to a fully non-blocking 8x8x8Lambda and 16x16x8Lambda reconfigurable optical switch fabric. The development of a III-V foundry process for micro-transfer-printing-compatible semiconductor optical amplifiers enables loss-less optical switching on a silicon photonics platform. Custom configuration electronic ICs to actuate, control, and power-monitor a scaled switch fabric will be densely integrated with the photonic ICs into a heterogeneous fanout wafer-level package, processed on a 200mm reconstructed wafer platform. In addition, the optical interfacing to the photonic ICs will be accomplished using an optical redistribution layer, providing an optical fanout on high-density organic substrates, and allowing for a scalable optical fiber packaging solution. The novel integration and packaging processes will be applied for manufacturing 1.6 Tbit/s optical transceivers providing the interface between optical switches and electronic resources (compute, memory, and storage). The optical switch and transceiver prototypes will be demonstrated in a 5G RAN Transport Network, for TSN Fronthaul applications and for memory disaggregation in data centers.