OCTAPUS will launch an agile, low-cost and energy-efficient PIC technology framework that will re-architect the NGCO ecosystem, transparently upgrading its capacity to 51.2Tb/s and beyond, through an innovative optically switched backplane and transceiver toolkit. To realize its ambitious goals, OCTAPUS will reap the benefits of the best-in-class material platforms and technologies i.e.:

  • the novel integration of antimony-based Phase Change Materials (PCM) on the low-loss and low-cost N-rich Si3N4 for its switching components
  • the excellent optoelectronic properties of InP-based O-band optical components for its transceiver modules
  • the mature and low-cost Si CMOS process for its ultra-low power electronics and
  • the low loss and compact interfaces to fibers, through advanced glass-based interposers with integrated diplexer functionalities.

OCTAPUS is an industrially driven innovation action with ambitious, but specific and well-defined technical objectives, designed to deliver on the promise of ultra-high speed, low latency, low power, and immense capacity of the NGCO infrastructure. The consortium has been strategically compiled to include the entire diverse technology development chain, comprising a high-quality blend of strong industrial and academic partners satisfying all possible technological requirements and exploitation paths. In this rationale, the OCTAPUS team is built for success: it consists of 2 top European research centers (FRAUNHOFER, IMEC), 2 major operators (ORAN, COSM), 1 major telecommunications equipment vendor (NVIDIA), two leading universities (AUTH, associated partner SOTON) and 4 established SMEs (NXW, SMART, TEEM, COMC). With this partner composition, OCTAPUS will provide a clear path towards transforming the project objectives into exploitable know-how with strong market potential. OCTAPUS’ proposed approach combines technological solutions of direct exploitation in all relevant technology sectors, i.e., optical transceivers, integration/packaging technologies, switching equipment and TSN/SDN network control.