Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy
Show menu
Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy

RTU Scientists Set New Data Transmission Record and Gain Recognition from the Global Microchip Industry

13th of May
Photo (from left) Armands Ostrovskis, researcher at RTU Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy, and Oskars Ozoliņš, tenure-track professor. Publicity photo.

With the development of artificial intelligence solutions, the demand for fast and energy-efficient data transmission is increasing significantly. Scientists from the Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy at Riga Technical University (RTU) are successfully testing a new modulator for optical interconnects in data centres and setting a data transmission record.

The development of artificial intelligence depends heavily on innovative and energy-efficient data transmission solutions, such as silicon photonics microchips, which enable faster transmission and processing of large volumes of data with lower losses and energy consumption. The work of scientists at the Institute of Photonics, Electronics and Electronic Communications of the RTU Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy in developing silicon photonics chips, including design development and testing, is attracting the interest of the global scientific and business community, says RTU Tenure-Professor Oskars Ozoliņš.

In collaboration with international companies - «OpenLight Photonics» from the USA and «Keysight Technologies Deutschland GmbH» from Germany - scientists at RTU's Institute of Photonics, Electronics and Electronic Communications tested a new type of electro-absorption optical modulator on a silicon photonics chip, achieving data rates of more than 380 Gbit/s. The scientists' achievement was highly appreciated and recognised as a world record at the «Optical Fiber Technology (OFC)», the world's largest optical networking and communications conference and exhibition in the Americas. It was presented in the conference's most prestigious «post-deadline» section, which accepts papers that have achieved world records.

Last year, RTU scientists already broke several world records in data centre interconnection technology using silicon photonics chips. «Records are set in different categories. Last year we set records in the systems category, and this year in the equipment category,» said O.Ozoliņš.

The optical modulator was designed by «OpenLight Photonics» in the US and manufactured by «Tower Semiconductor» in Israel. The cooperation with «OpenLight Photonics» started last year, when they approached O.Ozoliņš after evaluating scientific publications by researchers at the RTU Institute of Photonics, Electronics and Electronic Communications. RTU researchers tested the modulator in the laboratory of the US company «Keysight Technologies» in Germany, with which close cooperation has already been established, including internships for RTU PhD students. The tests were carried out by a group of researchers - researcher Armands Ostrovskis, associate professor Toms Salgals, researcher Kristaps Rubuls, research assistant Arvīds Sedulis, professor Sandis Spolītis, professor Vjačeslavs Bobrovs and tenure-track professors Xiaodan Pang and O. Ozoliņš.

«We are testing in Germany because Latvia does not have sufficient infrastructure at the moment. However, we have world-class expertise in microchip testing, as evidenced by the interest of international companies in cooperation and the success of our tests,» says O.Ozoliņš. The EU Microchip Act requires the creation of a semiconductor competence centre in each Member State, thus contributing to the EU's sovereignty and largely self-sufficiency in the semiconductor market. RTU's strategic objective is not only to establish a centre of excellence for semiconductors, but also to set up a microchip design and testing laboratory under the auspices of RTU. This would serve chip manufacturers. The design and testing stage of the chip value chain currently accounts for the majority of turnover, and Latvia has unique advantages in this area - competent specialists and technologies.

To see the production process of the world's leading measuring equipment and to discuss further cooperation, RTU Rector Tālis Juhna visited the German company «Keysight Technologies Deutschland GmbH» together with Tenure-track Professor O.Ozoliņš. Currently, staff is being trained in Latvia and Germany to prepare world-leading young specialists in photonic microchip testing.

A.Ostrovskis has also received the first award from the «Mobile Optical Pluggables Alliance», the industry's premier organisation, for a scientific publication reflecting the results of the tests. The Alliance's scientific programme is led by O.Ozoliņš and Xiaodan Pang.

Share article

Latest news