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Merging Plasmonic and Silicon Photonics Technology towards Tb/s routing \nin optical interconnects (PLATON)
Start date: Jan 1, 2010, End date: Jun 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

PLATON aims to realize a fully integrated Tb/s optical routing system for data networks expecting to deliver important advantages to the end-users as it will enable high-speed communications and ultra-fast access to data information being stored at large computer centers whilst investing in a new technological platform of lower cost, lower power consumption and reduced size requirements. This will allow for the effective consolidation of today's Internet and computer server rooms storing huge amounts of information into smaller-size rack- or even box-interconnect environments. PLATON's routing fabric will employ novel plasmonic switching elements on a silicon motherboard and will develop novel fabrication processes for enabling the merger of plasmonics with silicon nanophotonics and electronics, targeting the combined utilization of small-footprint, high-bandwidth plasmonics structures with the low-loss functional potential offered by the more mature SOI technology. PLATON will evolve upon a whole new generation of miniaturized photonic components including: (a) a new series of fast 2x2 thermooptic plasmonic switches, (b) a small-footprint 4x4 thermooptic plasmonics switch, (c) an optically addressable 1x2 plasmonic switch operating at bitrates in excess of 10Gb/s, and (d) a 2x2 and a 4x4 Tb/s optical routing platforms. To this end, PLATON will pioneer the field of routing for optical interconnects and will provide a completely new technological toolkit, bringing Europe in a leading position world-wide with respect to research efforts in plasmonics for interconnects. Finally, it will open totally new application vistas and opportunities for European industry being active in the field of nanophotonics, given that the active participation of industry within PLATON ensures the industrial take up of the combined plasmonics/photonics functional devices from research elements to commercially available products.
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