FRESCO: FREquency Stabilized Coherent Optical Low-Energy WDM DC Interconnects

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OPEN 2018
Santa Barbara, California
Project Term:
02/19/2019 - 08/18/2022

Technology Description:

The University of California-Santa Barbara will develop a low power, low-cost solution to overcome power and bandwidth scaling limitations facing hyperscale data centers and exponential growth in global data traffic. The FRESCO transceiver leverages advances in fundamental laser physics and photonic integration to enable terabit, coherent optical data transmission inside data centers through chip-scale spectrally pure and ultra-stable wavelength division multiplexed laser light sources . The project outcome will be an integrated photonic package capable of connecting to 100 terabit-per-second networking switches over coherent optical short-reach data center fiber links. This effort could transform the way data centers, data center interconnects, and terabit Ethernet switches are built, drastically reducing their global energy consumption.

Potential Impact:

The University of California-Santa Barbara will enable 102.4 trillion bits per second (Tbps) transmitted over multiple light wavelengths in the data center interconnect (DCI). This project will facilitate 10 times more energy efficiency, 10 times less cost and complexity over current data transmission technologies, and:


Maintain U.S. leadership in the multibillion-dollar DCI market


Reduce energy per bit requirements by over an order of magnitude over next generation technologies, resulting in a highly energy efficient solution


Significantly reduce DCI operational expenses


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. James Zahler
Project Contact:
Prof. Daniel Blumenthal
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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