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"Plug and play” 20 Gb/s modems using off-the-shelf components

As part of the Acreo-led EU ALPHA project, scientists at Bangor University have experimentally demonstrated a series of world-first end-to-end real-time OOFDM transceivers at record-high speeds, proving the feasibility of “plug and play” OOFDM modems exceeding 20Gb/s by utilising low-cost off-the-shelf components. Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OOFDM) is a front-runner technology for practical implementation in Fibre-To-The-Home/ Building (FTTH/ B) or for a capacity upgrade of fibre in-building networks.

Driven by various emerging broadband services such as 3D-TV, HDTV, social websites, on-line gaming, video sharing, Video on Demand and e-Health, end-users’ demand for transmission bandwidth increases more than 70% per year. The existing access networks are becoming the bottlenecks for achieving the wide bandwidths required in the near future.

Due to the fast transmission speed, high cost-effectiveness, great system flexibility and excellent performance robustness, FTTH/B is considered to enable end-users to enjoy >1Gb/s everywhere. To deploy FTTH/B, the utilization of novel underlying technologies is extremely critical. Within the ALPHA project, Bangor University, in close collaborations with major telecommunication equipment vendors, service providers and component manufactures, has developed a practical implementation of real-time Optical OFDM: a promising candidate technique for future FTTH/B.

Bangor’s patented OOFDM implementation opens up the possibility to provide end-users with “plug and play” modems potentially offering symmetrical downloading/uploading speeds many 1000 times faster and at the same price that subscribers currently have today regardless of subscribers’ home location.

“The practical implementation of the real-time OOFDM technology by the Bangor University makes us one step closer to meeting the increasing end-user demand for transmission bandwidth” says ALPHA co-ordinator Dr. Mikhail Popov at Acreo.

Furthermore, the OOFDM technology is capable of significantly saving the network installation and maintenance cost due to the re-use of installed fibre, in particular, allowing the convergence of various types of networks. The OOFDM technology also shows great resistance to imperfect fibre systems and low-cost, low-bandwidth components, thus providing more cost-efficient technical strategies.

For further information please contact:

  • ALPHA co-ordinator Dr. Mikhail Popov at Acreo,
  • Dr. Jianming Tang at Bangor University

About Bangor University
Bangor University was established in 1884, and today has over 10,000 students, 20 departments and over 600 teaching staff. The University is, and always has been, a research-active institution. We are rated the top university in the UK for the help and support provided to students. The School of Electronic Engineering, which was one of the four founding departments of the University in 1884, is ranked second position in the UK in electronics research in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2008), acknowledging the world leading research activity carried out in the School.

About Alpha project
The ALPHA project investigates innovative architectural and transmission solutions based on the manifold of optical fibres (single-, multi-mode and plastic) as well as wireless technology to support both wired and wireless services in a converged network infrastructure. The focus is on using the newest physical layer achievements, architecture solutions and adequate control and management to reach a yet unprecedented end-to-end provisioned capacity for access and in-building networks at a fraction of the price of today’s technologies and to simultaneously include the transport of existing 2G/3G and Beyond 3G (B3G) signals whether they are Internet Protocol (IP) or non-IP-based.

About Acreo
Acreo is one of Europe's top research companies providing breaking edge results within the field of electronics, optics and communication technologies. Turning academic research into commercial products, Acreo offers value-adding technology solutions for growth and competitiveness in industry and society. The types of assignments are ranging from feasibility studies, long term research projects, prototyping and small scale production, to verification and testing. Acreo also supports small and medium sized companies with technology transfer, business networks and financial advice. Acreo is part of Swedish ICT and has about 140 employees located in Kista (headquarter), Norrköping and Hudiksvall.


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