News video promotes our PASSION for photonics

11 October 2018
Matter PR recently created a news video and media campaign to raise awareness of the EU project PASSION that harnesses next generation lasers to create light-speed broadband connections and remove the data bottlenecks that could cause the Internet to grind to a halt as demand increases.

The PASSION research group are incorporating special VCSEL laser sources with silicon photonics to develop long wavelength, high capacity communications for the very first time, paving the way for light-speed metropolitan connectivity, and powering new ‘smart’ services like future gaming and on-demand TV.

Matter PR’s video campaign was carried out for our client Photonics21 and reached over 6.7M people globally, with significant coverage in key markets such as China. It helped to increase awareness amongst potential end-users of the application of photonics to the telecommunications industry and for future internet-services such as gaming.

Employed in the Apple iPhone X to scan a user’s face for Face ID, “portrait mode” photos and Animoji, and in its AirPod earbuds to sense your ears, a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) is a specialized laser diode that promises to revolutionize fibre optic communications by improving efficiency and increasing data speed. They are cheap to manufacture, and are more efficient than traditional laser sources.

Future smart services require a massive overhaul of current internet infrastructure. Data ‘bottlenecks’ – or internet ‘traffic jams’ caused by the sheer volume of users with increasingly sophisticated devices running, music, video, gaming, AI, VR and telecommunications – urgently need to be freed up. These super-fast components have the potential to revolutionise smart services that consume enormous amounts of data for connected citizens of the future. With transmission rates up to 112 Tb/s, sending 28 thousand HD movies would take as little as 1 second.

Whilst VCSELs (favoured for their rapid data transmission and low power consumption) have been used in data communications for short-distance connections in intra-data centres, using these infrared lasers for long wavelength, and high capacity communications has never been done before to connect our cities.

The PASSION group is keen to exploit VCSEL light sources due to their high transmission efficiency and minimal power consumption.



Project coordinator Professor Pierpaolo Boffi said:

“VCSELs are a bit of a buzz word at the moment. They have the advantages of low driving current, high light-power conversion efficiency and high directivity. This makes them an ideal choice for transmitting huge amounts of data in a low cost, energy efficient way.”

“They will help us target the site of the ‘bottlenecks’: the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) interlinking users within a geographical area where all the internet traffic from a local area flows, and cope with the exponential growth in users and increasingly sophisticated services like gaming, assisted living and on-demand TV.”

The PASSION team has ambitions to reduce the current power consumption of the internet by ten times their current rates.

Coordinated by the Politecnico di Milano the PASSION consortium is funded by the European Commission under the H2020 funding program and was funded under the Photonics Public Private Partnership.

PASSION is comprised of 14 partners with participants from 7 different European countries: (Italy) Politecnico di Milano and SM Optics; (Spain) CTTC, Telefonica and VLC Photonics; (The Netherlands) Technische Universiteit Eindhoven and Effect Photonics; (Finland) VTT; (Germany) Vertilas; (Israel) OpSys Technologies; (France) EPIC; and from 2 extra-Europe countries: (Japan) NICT and (South Korea) ETRI and ChemOptics.

The PASSION video news story was produced by Matter PR and directed and edited by James Harrison Productions.