12.10.2017

At the speed of light

Festival of Lights

Every year in autumn when it starts getting dark early two light events, "Festival of Lights" and "Berlin leuchtet", illuminate many sights and landmarks in Berlin's city centre, among them Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, and the high-rise buildings at Potsdamer Platz.

Leipziger Platz and Potsdamer Platz at the Festival of Lights in Berlin © Pedelecs by Wikivoyage and Wikipedia

 

Berlin - city of photonics

Light inspires and shows the city in a new way. But light is also an important field of innovation for the Berlin economy - in particular, the light that we don't get to see because it is used inside computers as a medium for data transmission. Photonics is the most important enabler for the information technology and communications systems of the future. And research and development in Berlin are making outstanding achievements in this area.

This applies to data transfers over long distances. When you use the internet today, there is a 50 percent chance that your data will come into contact with photonic components from Berlin. It is also true of the increase in performance and cost efficiency of photonics enhanced data centers.

The expertise that was developed in the European flagship project PhoxTroT has recently been available in Berlin in a unique infrastructure from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. PhoxTroT created optimal synergies between different technology platforms streamlining their deployment towards Tb/s-scale, high-performance, low-cost, and low-energy optical interconnect components and sub-systems.

PhoxLab: Developing and testing new photonic components and solutions

As a neutral platform, the newly launched PhoxLab allows photonic components and integrated solutions for data centers to be tested and developed. PhoxLab offers solutions for various levels of hierarchy (on-chip, chip-to-chip, board-to-board, rack-to-rack), architectures, and protocols and is open to all kinds of collaboration.

Photonics for information technology is only one of many fields. With its outstanding research facilities, start-ups and many globally operating companies, the capital region is broadly positioned for the development and commercialisation of photonic technologies.

Martin Schell, Director of Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, states: „The whole value chain from basic research until final product development is implemented within 50 kilometers reach. Such a density can be found worldwide only in the Silicon Valley or maybe Tokyo.“

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