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Research project


  • Research groups:
  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    UKRI (Research England) - EU Horizon guarantee Scheme
  • Status:

Project overview

OCTAPUS (Optical Circuit switched Time sensitive network architecture for high-speed Passive optical networks and next generation Ultra-dynamic & reconfigurable central office environments) is a 3.5-year long Horizon Europe research project aiming to deliver an agile, low-cost and energy-efficient PIC technology framework that will re-architect the NGCO ecosystem, transparently upgrading its capacity to 51.2Tb/s and beyond, through an innovative optically-switched backplane and transceiver toolkit.
To realize its ambitious goals, OCTAPUS will leverage the novel integration of antimony-based Phase Change Materials (PCM) on the low-cost Si3N4 to develop for the first time a non-volatile ns-scale optical switch technology for developing an ultra-high capacity optical backplane. OCTAPUS will also deploy a versatile portfolio of InP-based O-band optical components that will enable the realization of 50G low-power board-to-board and long-reach PON transceivers, securing 4x and 8x energy saving to existing state-of-the-art solutions, while reaching up to 37.5% cost improvement against conventional EML solutions, through its monolithic fabrication approach.
Moreover, OCTAPUS will equip its novel PICs with low loss and compact interfaces to fibers, through advanced glass diplexer-embedded-interposers. Finally, OCTAPUS will synergize the developed optical components in a novel NGCO architecture, supporting 3 layers of traffic with deterministic latency guarantees for URLLC services, through the incorporation of reconfigurable express light paths along with TSN functionality.


Lead researcher

Professor Frederic Gardes PhD


Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups