Shaping radio signals using light

Shaping radio signals using photonics techniques feels like a whirl. But the versatility of current programmable silicon photonic circuits may open up new possibilities according to researchers at the University of Twenty. He has presented his microwave photonic spectral shaper inAPL Photonics.

For signal processing in the radio frequency (RF) domain, for example, in 5G communications, future 6G or radar, faster filtering, and other high-precision operations on high-frequency radio signals are important. The light molded in integrated photonic circuits can offer signal processing with high bandwidth and provides unmatched flexibility for the programmability of integrated photonics.

But still, the phase where the radio signal is converted to lightwave, known as optical modulation, is cumbersome. The spectral shaper presented by the researchers resolves this bottleneck for the number of flexible photonic components.

Programmable photonics

To shape the information signal, the first light components are separated. Separate parts, like the radio side band around the optical frequency, can then be processed separately. When all photonic processing is done and the desired spectral shape is made, the light is recombined and converted back into a radio frequency signal.

All these processes were performed in silicon chips using ring-shaped resonators and filters that could be programmed electronically. The chip also includes a high speed detector to convert the light back into radiowaves.

“This new spectral shopper is the basis for a full range of complex operations that can be performed on RF signals using programmable photonics,” says David Marpung. He is a professor in the Nonlinear Nanopotonics Group at the University of Twente.

The chip that researchers from Twente, Sydney, and Ghent put into this paper was made using silicon photonics. UT-MESA + NanoLab’s main photonic technology, a next-generation chip made in silicon nitride – is currently under testing in Marpung’s lab.

The paper, “Versatile Silicon Microwave Photonic Spectral Shaper,” is published in APL Photonics.

For signal processing in the radio frequency (RF) domain, for example in 5G communications, future 6G or radar, faster filtering and other high precision operations on high frequency radio signals are important.

Light, molded into integrated photonic circuits, can offer signal processing with larger bandwith and has unmatched flexibility thanks to the programmability of integrated photonics. But still, the phase in which the radio signal is converted to lightwave, known as optical modulation, is cumbersome. By Spectral Shaper, now presented by researchers, resolves this bottleneck for the number of flexible photonic components.

Professional photos

To shape the information signal, first light components. Should be set aside ‘. Separate parts such as radio bands ‘side bands’ around the optical frequency can then be processed separately. When all photonic processing is done and the desired spectral shape is made, the light is recombined and converted back into a radio frequency signal.

All these processes were performed in silicon chips using ring-shaped resonators and filters that could be programmed electronically. The chip also includes a high speed detector to convert the light back into radiowaves.

“This new spectral shaper is the basis for a whole range of complex operations that can be performed on RF signals using programmable photonics”, says David Marpung. He is a professor in the Nonlinear Nanopotonics Group at the University of Twente.

In this paper, the chip that researchers from Twente, Sydney, and Gantt built was made using silicon photonics. The next generation of chips built into silicon nitride – the main photonic technology at UT’s Mesa + Nanolabs – is currently under trial in Marpung’s laboratory.

APL Photonics has the paper Per Versatile Silicon Microwave Photonic Shaper ‘, published by Shin Guo, Yang Liu, Tangman Liu, Blair Morrison, Mattia Pagani, Oki Daulay, Wim Bogarts, Benjamin Eggleton, Alvaro Casas-Bedoya and David Marpung.

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