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08 March 2022


Frank Smyth

Pilot Photonics develops 1.6Tb/s optical engine using comb source technology to scale coherent communication links

SuperTROSA™ is the world’s first comb-based coherent Superchannel optical engine

San Diego, March 08, 2022— Pilot Photonics today announced the development of its SuperTROSA™ technology, the world’s first coherent optical engine that uses optical comb technology to deliver a Superchannel. SuperTROSA enables the advancement of high capacity, high spectral efficiency optical links, while reducing the total cost of ownership for global telecoms and datacentre operators.

A key challenge in communication networks today is how to grow channel data rates, but maintain footprint, faceplate density and power consumption. The SuperTROSA technology promises to be a key weapon in this battle.

Optical comb sources are lasers that produce multiple coherent wavelengths of light from a single device. “By using a comb source, rather than independent lasers to create a superchannel, the coherence of the wavelengths can be used to dramatically reduce the digital signal processing that is required,” said Dr. Frank Smyth, founder and CTO at Pilot Photonics. “This results in significant power savings and allows data rates to continue to scale in current transceiver form-factors”.

Comb technology also enables increased spectral efficiency by reducing or eliminating guard bands between the sub-channels of a superchannel. The SuperTROSA optical engine uses Pilot Photonics’ patented gain switched comb source (GSCS) technology. The SuperTROSA transmitter consists of a comb source and demultiplexer, four dual polarization IQ modulators, and superchannel coupling optics. The SuperTROSA receiver consists of comb local oscillator filters and four polarization diversity coherent receivers. The photonic integrated circuits are fabricated in indium phosphide.

“We have taken delivery of the first samples of our SuperTROSA chipset,” said William Oppermann, CEO at Pilot Photonics. “We have also just closed a significant investment that will allow us to accelerate the delivery of this exciting technology and customer trials are planned for later this year”

Pilot Photonics will be present at Optical Communication Conference (OFC22), March 6 – 10 2022, San Diego, USA (booth 5822) and at Laser World of Photonics, April 26 – 29 2022, Munich, Germany.


About Pilot Photonics

Pilot Photonics uses photonic integration and its patented optical comb technology to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems in the communications, automotive, energy and space industries. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

SuperTROSA is an abbreviation of Superchannel Transmit/Receive Optical Sub-Assembly and has been filed as an international trademark by Pilot Photonics.

Note to Editors

Pilot Photonics CEO William Oppermann, and CTO Dr. Frank Smyth are available for briefings. Please contact damian.mcgillivary@pilotphotonics.com / +44 7801 560199 to arrange.