The new generation of broadband microwave systems in various fields (wireless communications, satellite communications, sensing, medical imaging) and especially the emerging 5G wireless technology, have very high requirements in terms of carrier frequency, bandwidth, dynamic range, size, power consumption, tunability, and immunity to electromagnetic interference. In parallel, when the microwave signals that need to be processed have a very high carrier frequency, the integrated circuits should be able to offer high-bandwidth modulation and detection. 

The combination of these requirements is very challenging, and the necessary photonic integration technology that could exploit the full potential of MWP technology is still missing. Towards that end, HAMLET aims to develop a powerful photonic integration technology, tailored for the first time to the needs of MWP and that will enable the corresponding discipline to meet the expectations for commercial uptake with the advent of 5G era. HAMLET will rely on the heterogeneous integration of graphene sheets on polymer and PZT layers on low-loss Si3N4/SiO2 platforms, so as to develop very fast graphene based electro-absorption modulators and an extensive optical beam forming network. With this hybrid technology HAMLET will develop transceivers to seamlessly interface the optical fronthaul and radio access at the remote antenna units (RAUs) of 5G base stations. To achieve these goals, HAMLET will focus on the following objectives:

  1. Develop a simple and reliable methodology for integration of graphene on PolyBoard platform and develop signle and arrayed versions (up to 64) of electro-absorption modulators with high bandwidth (>25 GHz) and low insertion loss (<3 dB)
  2. Develop a simple and reliable methodology for deposition of PZT layers on TriPleX platform and development of optical phase shifters with sub-μW power consumption and ns response time
  3. Develop large-scale (up to 1:64) integrated beamforming networks for multi-element antenna arrays based on PZT-based tunable elements on TriPleX platform
  4. Develop integration engine for PolyBoard-to-TriPleX integration with large number (>100) of interconnected waveguides and polymer-to-InP integration with long InP component arrays (up to 64 elements)
  5. Develop a simple integration engine for integration and co-packaging of optical subassemblies with CMOS electronics and MIMO antennas
  6. Develop hybrid transceivers with integrated optical and wireless sections for remote antenna units in future 5G networks operating in the 28 GHz band
  7. Evaluate the performance of HAMLET transceivers in emulating 5G system environments and demonstrate record performance in terms of system flexibility and throughput
  8. Explore the range of possible application fields of HAMLET technology and prepare a solid roadmap for its commercial uptake in the post-HAMLET era