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Experimental Research in High Capacity Communications for Data Centers

Achieving Pb/s transmission rates requires a system that pushes boundaries simultaneously along all multiplexing avenues: advanced modulation formats, spectrally efficient operation, coverage of multiple wavelength bands, and spatial multiplexing in modes and/or multiple cores. To keep costs low, solutions must be compatible with trends to monolithically integrated optical and electrical components. Among the various technologies to implement optical com-ponents, silicon photonics is particularly attractive as it holds the potential for small footprint, low cost, low power consumption and scalability . In addition, the advent of software defined networks and interest in flex-grid architectures place constraints on viable Pb/s system strategies. The proposed five-year research project will focus on exploring how results in optical multiplexing can be harnessed with WDM and QAM modulation to achieve Pb/s on a single fiber in a point-to-point or mesh network at short distances (< 5 km). The project will push the state-of-the art in several directions.