The Photonics Communications Research Laboratory (PCRL) was founded in September 1995 by Prof. Hercules Avramopoulos, as a research facility of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and member of the Institute of Communications & Computer Systems (ICCS). It currently numbers 20 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers whose research interests include optical interconnects and telecommunications, digital signal processing, photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design, and biophotonics/sensing. PCRL runs a fully equipped laboratory with state-of-the-art test and measurement systems and a broad range of passive and active photonic devices. PCRL is actively involved in collaborative research projects at a national and European level and has participated in over 25 projects over the past 10 years, acting as the project coordinator for many of them. Throughout its track record in photonics research, PCRL has established worldwide links and collaborations with top research institutes and industrial research organizations.
Innovative Products and Services
PCRL conducts research in the following application fields:
- optical interconnects. Highlights: design of optical interconnects for >100 Gb/s per wavelength; development of novel network architectures for disaggregated datacenters.
- digital signal processing. Highlights: development of a full DSP-algorithms suite for coherent optical networks.
- PIC design. Highlights: design of adiabatic-coupling interfaces compatible with passive alignment assembly, for low-loss interfacing between PICs and optical fibers/optical PCBs
- optical communications. Highlights: design of reconfigurable QAM transmitter for flexible optical networks.
- biophotonics/sensing. Highlights: development of sample-in-result-out, multi-analyte biosensor for sensing of antibiotics, mycotoxins, pesticides and copper in milk, olive-oil and nuts.
Experience and Expertise
PCRL’s mandate is to leverage advanced photonic technologies in order to address real application requirements. PCRL’s research activities span within the following thematic areas:
- Design and testing of integrated photonic components on various integration platforms (e.g. silicon, polymer, glass) with particular focus on the development of coupling interfaces between different platforms.
- Design, implementation and system- & network-level testing of photonic devices and subsystems for optical communication networks and datacom/computercom applications, including innovative solutions for high-capacity, flexible optical transmission networks, all-optical signal processing systems/subsystems, multi-wavelength sources for wavelength division multiplexing systems, and novel optical network architectures for datacenters.
- Design and implementation of photonic devices and subsystems for various sensing applications including food and drug analysis.
- Development and FPGA implementation of digital signal processing algorithms for optical communication systems, including modulation/demodulation of bandwidth-efficient and/or impairment-resilient formats (PPM, QPSK, M-QAM, M-PAM, DMT, OFDM, etc.), dynamic transceiver functionality for flexible optical networks, transmission impairment monitoring/mitigation, and advanced equalization techniques.