Ivana Gasulla, researcher at the Institute of Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications of the Universitat Politècnica de València (iTEAM-UPV), has developed a new delay line model capable of designing high performance chips with more processing capacity.
This advance means taking up less space in a chip–up to 300 times less space than usual–and is the key of the study led by scientists at UPV in collaboration with McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland).
Capmany: "Since the space occupied by the delay line is less, we can incorporate new components into the circuit"
José Capmany, head of iTEAM-UPV, explains that "delay lines are used in all kind of communications for data processing with the aim of keeping information we want to later analyze individually. They are a significant component in chips.
"Our new device, made with standard silicon photonic technology, opens the door to chips with greater performance. Since the space occupied by the delay line is less, we can incorporate new components into the circuit," says Capmany.
The use of a very short-period diffraction grating, a key innovation
According to Ivana Gasulla, the main innovation of this project, whose results have been published in Scientific Reports (Nature), is the use of a very short-period diffraction grating as the main element of the delay line, a key component in order to process optical signals.
"The grating," says the UPV researcher, "allows us to save space and additional components, as the signal is delayed in transmission but not in reflection, so it is not necessary to add couplers or circulators in order to extract the delayed signal to the exterior".
Proven performance for digital communications, antenna power supply and memory buffers
Spanish, Canadian and Scottish researchers have already proven the performance of this new model of delay line for digital communications, antenna power supply, mobile communication systems and memory buffers.
According to Capmany, "it can be applied to all fields in which delaying a bit to analyze a sample is needed. Apart from the fields the team have tested, it could be applied to the biophotonics industry".