Towards All-optical Logic Photonic Integrated Circuits
B. J. Eggleton
The realization of photonic integrated circuits operating at terabit/s (Tb/s) speeds is one of the holy grails of optical communications, and is being driven by the on-going quest for higher transmission speeds. At these speeds, any signal processing must be done all-optically, using only light-by-light interaction -- nonlinear optics since current electronic speeds are rapidly approaching physical limits. Ultimately, however, to break the Tb/s barrier, devices must be based on intrinsic material optical nonlinearities such as the third order nonlinearity, that includes both the Kerr optical nonlinearity and stimulated Raman gain coefficient, with response times < 100 fs. Photonic integrated circuits that would offer all of the advantages that silicon ICs have offered the electronics world for the past 40 years, currently are not capable of operating at > 40Gb/s. In this paper I will review recent progress by CUDOS researchers on developing a photonic chip capable of Tb/s speeds, based on highly nonlinear chalcogenide glass. The highlight of this research is the demonstration all-optical signal regeneration with 1.0ps pulses. This represents an important milestone in the quest for Tb/s signal processing chips.