SBIR Phase I: Pitch Reducing Optical Fiber Array for High Speed Digital Communications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1213970
Agency Tracking Number: 1213970
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: EI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
PO Box 694, 26 Chapin Road, Pine Brook, NJ, 07058-0694
DUNS: 967847836
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mitch Wlodawski
 (973) 732-0030
Business Contact
 Mitch Wlodawski
Phone: (973) 732-0030
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of a novel Pitch Reducing Optical Fiber Array (PROFA) technology to meet the demands of next-generation telecommunications, data centers and cloud computing. As signal rates increase above 10 Gb/s, designers are moving from electrical to optical lines for intra- and inter-chip communication to provide higher bandwidth density, lower power consumption and reduced transmission loss. The challenge of interfacing photonic integrated circuits (PICs) to data transport media has grown with the increased sophistication of integrated PICs. Standard optical fibers, which have an outer diameter, of 125 um need to be matched to planar waveguides with high numerical aperture spaced by approximately 30 um. Pushing this limit is critical to increasing the density of active elements on a chip, reducing overall system size, and lowering power requirements. State-of-the-art fiber connections, which utilize labor intensive v-grooves, can achieve 127 um one-dimensional spacing. There is currently no path to achieving the chip-limited density called for by the industry. In this Phase I SBIR, PROFAs will be developed that will propel optical connectivity to 30 um spacing and two-dimensional arrays with orders of magnitude higher density than is currently available. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to solve a key bottleneck of connectivity between optical fibers and PICs to achieving exascale computing and high speed communications. It will accelerate the development of next-generation high performance computers by allowing the integration of more complex PICs into telecommunications equipment. This technology will thereby spur the creation of novel PICs which can truly exploit higher on-chip densities in applications that will demand hundreds of thousands of PROFAs. As photonics becomes more pervasive, moving beyond telecommunications into datacom, biomedical and a myriad of industrial and military applications, the need addressed by PROFAs for seamless integration of planar and fiber-based platforms, as well as disparate fiber interfaces, including multi-core fibers, will increase. This technology will enhance the integration of different families of materials and combine their unique strengths. The know-how developed in the course of this project will inform the development of other microformed fiber-based devices, including filters, lasers, sensors and isolators for applications ranging from monitoring nuclear radiation to early endoscopic detection of cancer. This technology is expected to enhance the competitiveness of the United States in the next generation of telecommunications and data processing equipment.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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