Joint CUDOS researchers invent integrated controller to solve complex photonic integrated circuits problem

[01-02-2017]

CUDOS joint PhD student Andri Mahendra with his colleagues in the School of Physics and School of Electrical and Information Engineering at The University of Sydney have developed an integrated circuits controller that enables complex photonic devices to be more robust to internal and external disturbances, addressing one of the key issues in the photonics integration industry.

Complex, CMOS-compatible photonic integrated circuits (PICs) have been proposed for many applications, including sensing, communication and quantum computing and are being developed for industry. This will be crucial in the 2020 as data growth exponentially, doubling every two years for industries such as Web 2.0 datacentres and also in the IoT (Internet of Things) environment and the bio-medical world that require reliable photonic system.

In collaboration with physicists and engineers at CUDOS and the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) at the University of Sydney, Andri Mahendra, supervised by Professor Philip Leong and Professor Benjamin Eggleton, built an integrated multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) circuits controller for controlling photonic systems. The key advantages of this approach is that it enables reliable and adaptive reconfiguration of complex PICs. This work has been published in Journal of Applied Optics (https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-56-4-1113).

The integrated circuits controller can also be used as a modular and scalable photonic controller. This simplify power supply instruments used by scientists and engineers in experiments, said Andri Mahendra, who is currently sponsored by Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP scholarship) program. The invention, for which a US provisional patent has been filed, is called a reconfigurable power supply channel extender device or Xpow. This has been commercialized through the University of Sydney Union (USU) startup accelerator and entrepreneur program class 9 (https://incubate.org.au/) by the nicslab startup company (https://www.nicslab.com/).

PhD student Andri Mahendra(seen in the above picture), who designed and built the device, said the technology works simply by controlling conventional power supplies in a scalable manner with an integrated controller to provide larger numbers of output channels.