Optical fibre will be the main building block for future high-capacity home broadband networks. The transmission capacity of fibre is almost unlimited if compared to existing copper cabling systems. In order to enable the desired worldwide deployment of fibres and bring them up to every final customer or directly to the home (Fibre-To-The-Home, FTTH), new opto-electronic devices that can handle light more effectively with lower manufacturing and maintenance costs are needed. The prerequisite for a low-cost mass fabrication of such devices is the full monolithic integration on a single silicon microchip of the required electronic and optical functions. The target of PINC-PONK project is to break the technological constraints limiting the development of low-cost optical routers for FTTH applications. This goal will be reached by exploiting the perfect compatibility between the CMOS and the photonics world, i.e. through the monolithic integration of photonic and electronic functions by means of a back-end, zero-technological-impact process.
The ideal-ist project is part-funded by European Commission under the Cooperation Programme, ICT Theme, of the seventh Framework Programme. Any options expressed in these pages are those of the author/organisation and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.