Within the funding program "Forschung Agil - Raummultiplexing in faseroptischen Netzen" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung - BMBF), the IPQ successfully applied for the project STARFALL.
Anterovium /

In the project running from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024, the researches at IPQ will collaborate with multiple reputable industry partners to work on multiple topics related to space-division multiplexed optical fiber communication.

Fiber-optic communication systems constitute the backbone of our modern society, which is coined by a connection of millions of users and devices. There is no hint that the trend towards globalization and digitization will stop or make a turn soon. Quite the contrary, data-driven innovations such as 5G mobile communications, cloud computing, video streaming, and the fourth industrial revolution are expected to result in a further exponential increase of the overall data traffic. By exploiting both quadrature dimensions, polarization multiplexing, and wavelength-division multiplexing, researchers have already approached the fundamental limit of single-mode fibers. To scale the capacity of the fiber channel even further. spatial-division multiplexing (SDM) in parallel fibers or various modes of a multimode or multicore fiber is envisioned. Energy-efficient use of such super-channels requires an array of transceivers that are integrated into a single chip and can communicate and cooperate. Frequency comb generators allow supplying light to all transceivers from a single integrated source, leading to phase locking of the carriers and improved performance, while also reducing costs. The project STARFALL (“Skalierbare Terminalarchitekturen und -subsysteme für faseroptisches Raummultiplexing”) aims at developing novel optical frequency comb generators based on electro-optic modulators or silicon-nitride micro resonators. The research results will finally be transferred into a turn-key demonstrator operating in real-time. Another focus of the project is enhancing the digital signal processing (DSP) routines used in SDM systems. The novel algorithms will enable flexible real-time processing for different use cases that each come with an individual spatial coupling of the fiber modes.

Further information:

  • Overview on the funding program "Forschung Agil - Raummultiplexing in faseroptischen Netzen".
  • Website of the STARFALL project.