The availability of affordable, ubiquitous, high bandwidth digital communications has had a transformational effect on modern societies and economies. Today, individuals and organisations can connect ‘at the speed of light’ to share information and ideas on a global-scale in ways that would have seemed impossible only a few decades ago. As the number and range of ‘entities’ that require connection increases, and demand for bandwidth capacity and mobility continue to grow, the electronic, photonic and wireless technologies that underpin the global communications infrastructure are becoming increasingly stressed. As a result, new technologies are required to support the continued capacity growth of the internet as well as to increase the flexibility and efficiency with which this capacity can be exploited. Communication technologies are expected to have an increasingly important role in reducing future global energy consumption, but in turn it will also be imperative to constrain the growth in energy consumption of the communication systems themselves.
Tyndall is working on solutions to these challenges, including:
- Energy- and cost-efficient fibre-to-the-home/business networks
- High capacity ‘Terabit per second’ coherent communication systems
- New technologies for beyond standard fibre capacity limits
- Photonic and electronic solutions for extending transmission reach
- Ultrafast all-optical firewalls and ‘on-the-fly’ packet processors
- Low-light fibre sensing and communication systems including ultra-secure quantum key distribution networks
- Novel materials and systems for low-power photonic networks
- Ultra-compact transceivers for plastic optical fibre links and networks
- Integrated component technologies for optical burst-switched metro networks
The research is being pursued through major Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)-funded programmes such as Photonic Systems Research, CTVR and the PiFAS Strategic Research Cluster, as well as numerous European-framework programmes including TRIUMPH, PIEMAN, ZODIAC, WISDOM, EURO-FOS, SUBTUNE, PHASORS, C-3PO, BIANCHO, ESSENTIAL and MODE-GAP. Commercialisation opportunities are actively pursued with support from Enterprise Ireland and SFI, and via direct industry collaborations with Irish-based multi-nationals and SMEs as well as international industry partners.