Multi-Gigabit, Scalable & Energy Efficient on-board Digital Processors Employing Multi-core, Vertical, Embedded Opto-electronic Engines (MERLIN)

New multi-beam Tera-scale capacity satellites will require a disruptive approach to address digital on-board processors that rely on electronics which consume space, power and cost and reach their capacity saturation. The disruptive solution must combine scalability, technical feasibility, power-efficiency and cost-effectiveness. MERLIN aims to provide this solution realizing multi-gigabit optical inter-connectivity with a unique combination of low-power and high-bandwidth multimode (MM) GaAs VCSEL/PDs, low power, radiation-hardened BiCMOS drivers and radiation-hardened multi-core fibers (MCFs). MERLIN will integrate these technologies on a space grade photonic integration capable to provide ruggedized transceiver modules with a record-high 150Gb/s throughput and 6mW/ Gb/s energy consumption which is a 3-fold improvement against state-of-the-art (SOTA) US-based products. MERLIN will fabricate the first >15GHz MCF-matched 850nm VCSELs operating at -40 to +100 oC and will drive energy consumption down to <200 fJ/bit (0.2 mW/Gb/s). MERLIN will demonstrate the first >30 GHz MM MCF-PDs with >0.6A/W responsivity. MERLIN will couple MCF-VCSELs/PDs to the first 6-core radiation-hard MM-MCF to offer the capability for single-feedthrough robust and hermetic module packaging. Fibers will be distributed through a monolithic fan-out avoiding the use and procurement of expensive connectors. MERLIN will develop the first 25 Gb/s 6-channel, driver/TIA ICs with record-low <2pJ/bit energy consumption in a 5-fold decrease against SOTA products. ICs will be fabricated with IHP 0.25µm SiGe BiCMOS process which is under ESA qualification. MERLIN will fabricate an opto-electronic 6x25 Gb/s capable ADC/DAC module using MCF optical interfaces and will test it in a full-scale optical interconnect breadboard demonstrator. Finally, MERLIN will perform space assessment tests on all the components to align development towards a European space qualifiable system.

Participants

Anders Larsson (contact)

Professor at Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Photonics

Collaborations

Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP)

Frankfurt, Germany

OFS

Brøndby, Denmark

Philips Technologie

Hamburg, Germany

Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

Espoo, Finland

Thales Alenia Space France

Toulouse, France

Funding

EC, Seventh Framework program (FP7)

Funding years 2013–2016

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Information and Communication Technology

Area of Advance

Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Area of Advance

Sustainable Development

Chalmers Driving Force

NFL/Myfab (Nanofabrication Laboratory)

Chalmers Research Infrastructure

More information

Latest update

2015-10-30