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Photonic Integrated Circuits using Scattered Waveguide elements in an Adaptive, Reconfigurable Mesh.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PhotonICSWARM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 1˙990˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙990˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2022-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 1˙990˙000.00


 Project objective

In PhotonICSWARM, I will use silicon photonics technology to build general-purpose, programmable optical chips that rely on topologies of distributed waveguide circuits governed by distributed control algorithms.

In silicon photonics, optical signals are transported along waveguides on photonic integrated circuits and processed by elements that filter specific wavelengths or modulate signals. Silicon photonics is the choice technology for high-speed communication links, but also for different types of sensors. However, photonic circuits are still very simple compared to today's electronics, because they use connectivity topologies where light follows a single path.

The optical chip concepts I propose in PhotonICSWARM start from radically different topologies, which will allow 1-2 orders of magnitude scaling in complexity. They are based on tightly interconnected, distributed optical signal paths. This high connectivity will enable much more complex optical functions, and to realise these I will apply adaptive, distributed control algorithms. I will explore different optical waveguide concepts: waveguide meshes, phased arrays, lattices of resonators, lateral leakage and 2-D holographic gratings. These will be fabricated on existing state-of-the-art technology platforms, so PhotonICSWARM will rather revolve around the theory, simulation, design and characterisation methodologies.

With these distributed photonic circuits I will create programmable photonics that can be applied for many applications, as the optical equivalent of electronic field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA). They can enable on-chip parallel optical signal processing for pattern recognition or real-time encryption of high-bitrate optical data streams. Programmable circuits can speed up the research cycle, taking much less time to test new photonic chip concepts, and over time make integrated photonics accessible to the 'Maker community'.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 L. Van Isegehem, U. Khan, J. Beeckman, W. Bogaerts
On-chip beam using lateral leakage
published pages: 136-139, ISSN: , DOI:
IEEE Photonics Benelux Chapter/ Annual Symposium 2018 2019-12-16
2018 I. Zand, B. Abasahl, U. Khan, W. Bogaerts
Controlling parasitics in linear optical processors
published pages: 152-155, ISSN: , DOI:
IEEE Photonics Benelux Chapter/ Annual Symposium 2018 2019-12-16
2019 Ang Li, Wim Bogaerts
Using Backscattering and Backcoupling in Silicon Ring Resonators as a New Degree of Design Freedom
published pages: 1800244, ISSN: 1863-8880, DOI: 10.1002/lpor.201800244
Laser & Photonics Reviews 2019-12-16
2019 Hong Deng, Wim Bogaerts
Pure phase modulation based on a silicon plasma dispersion modulator
published pages: 27191, ISSN: 1094-4087, DOI: 10.1364/oe.27.027191
Optics Express 27/19 2019-12-16
2019 B. Abasahl, W. Bogaerts
Evaluation of stability of silicon-photonics-based optical switch network architectures against parasitic errors in switch elements
published pages: paper W.Po1.7 (3, ISSN: , DOI:
21st European Conference on Integratred Optics (ECIO 2019) 2019-12-16
2018 W. Bogaerts
Large-scale programmable silicon photonics
published pages: 51-53, ISSN: , DOI:
European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO\'2018) 2019-10-08
2018 A. Robeiro, U. Khan. W. Bogaerts
Matrix addressing silicon photonics phase shifters using heaters with integrated diodes
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO\'2018) 2019-10-08
2018 W. Bogaerts
Programmable photonic Ics: making optical devices more versatile
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
PIC International Conference 2019-10-08
2017 Antonio Ribeiro, Wim Bogaerts
Digitally controlled multiplexed silicon photonics phase shifter using heaters with integrated diodes
published pages: 29778, ISSN: 1094-4087, DOI: 10.1364/OE.25.029778
Optics Express 25/24 2019-10-08
2017 Ang Li, Wim Bogaerts
Tunable electromagnetically induced transparency in integrated silicon photonics circuit
published pages: 31688, ISSN: 1094-4087, DOI: 10.1364/OE.25.031688
Optics Express 25/25 2019-05-27

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