Latest Frolik News
Sep 9, 2021
The Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC, a joint venture founded in 2015 between Cardiff University and epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK) – which is a partner in the CSconnected compound semiconductor cluster formed in South Wales in 2017 – is to be part of a consortium named ‘Free Space Optical Links for telecom networks’ (FrOLik) that has received €675,000 in support from Eureka Eurostars to develop innovative free-space optical (FSO) data link technology and an associated supply chain. The consortium comprises three R&D-intensive SMEs: Integrated Compound Semiconductor Ltd (ICS, a spin out from the University of Manchester, UK); VTEC Lasers and Sensors BV; and Aircision BV (the latter two both of Eindhoven, Netherlands), supported by Cardiff-based CSC. Currently, point-to-point fiber-optic links are the standard deployment option for high-capacity telecom backhaul as they provide high integrity and high-bandwidth transmission. While FSO is easy and fast to deploy, has very high bandwidth potential and does not require a spectrum license, existing commercial solutions suffer from outages due to adverse weather conditions. The project aims to deliver a novel FSO communication product commercialized by Aircision, using novel components for high bit rates that enable long-range transmission, up to 100Gbps at 10km. The consortium will leverage this technology with unique high-performance compound semiconductor detector technology (developed by ICS) and new high-speed component integration techniques (developed by VTEC). A critical outcome will be the demonstration of a new European source of integrated semiconductor detector products specifically designed for FSO systems, enabled by a comprehensive ‘materials-to-system’ design, manufacture and test capability.