World’s most advanced fibre-to-the-home network concept demonstrated in Irish research laboratory
Cork, September 11, 2009 - Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D, Minister for Science, Technology, & Innovation visiting Tyndall National Institute in Cork, one of Ireland’s leading research facilities, today announced that it has demonstrated a ground-breaking advance in fibre-to-the-home networks.
The breakthrough resulted from an EU-funded research collaboration, called PIEMAN, between BT – the project co-ordinator, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia-Siemens Networks, the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP), and Ghent University and Tyndall.
Welcoming the collaboration, Minister Lenihan commended the research partners on their successful results. He went on to say “cutting-edge projects such as PIEMAN are helping to drive the development of next-generation networks, which are key enablers of the future Smart Economy.”
“To enable the Smart Economy Ireland needs a robust, reliable and dynamic communications network. The exciting developments demonstrated at Tyndall National Institute today confirm that we can have the critical mass of innovation to compete in the global telecommunications market,” said Minister Lenihan.
Minister Lenihan added “This project also clearly demonstrates the significant benefits accruing to Ireland and to Irish researchers from our involvement in Europe. I am delighted to see at first hand this concrete example of the direct relevance of European research programmes to the future development of enterprise in Ireland”.
“High speed optical fibre access networks are increasingly seen as the ultimate solution for supplying future broadband services to residential and business customers”, said Prof. Paul Townsend, Head of Photonics at Tyndall. “In the PIEMAN project we have pushed the boundaries of access network design to create a new type of large-scale, high speed network that offers significant advantages compared to existing schemes. In particular, by increasing the network span from around 20km that is typical today to as much as 100km, the new scheme eliminates the need for many of the electronic switches and repeaters used in current networks.
Consequently, these new networks would potentially be much simpler and easier to manage with lower equipment and operational costs,” he explained.
Chris Clark, CEO, BT Ireland added “This new network has capabilities well beyond the fibre access networks being deployed commercially today. As well as extended span, the scheme increases both the number of users and the available bandwidths by as much as a factor of ten, compared to existing solutions. It also employs multiple colours of light to allow sharing of optical fibre and components across many sub-networks so that in total more than 16,000 customers can be supported from a single network hub. This potentially enables significant network simplification and cost reduction to be achieved.”
“Today’s impressive network demonstration at the SFI-funded advanced photonics systems lab at Tyndall, highlights the importance of continued investment in strategic research and development projects in Ireland, and the ability of SFI funded researcher to leverage other funding sources.” said Prof. Frank Gannon, Director of SFI.
Paul Townsend, Head of Photonics, Tyndall National Institute, mob- 086 1576075
Julie Dorel, Tyndall National Institute, mob- 087 1309 322
Carl Gibney, Fleishman-Hillard +353 1 6188428 / + 353 86 0459555
Alva O'Cleirigh, Communications Manager SFI 01 607 3249 / 087 9152553
Notes to Editors
On Monday September 14th, the premier conference for photonics research in Ireland will take place in Kinsale, Co. Cork. This will bring together over 200 researchers working on key aspects of photonics, ranging from the theory, materials, through optoelectronic and optical components and sub-systems, to the demonstration of advanced applications such as high-speed telecommunications.
The Photonic Integrated Extended Metro and Access Network (PIEMAN) is a collaborative research project funded under the “Broadband for All” strategic objective of the EU Information Societies Technologies 6th Framework Programme. The project started in January 2006 and is currently reaching completion (final review date 25th August 2009). The project partners are Tyndall National Institute (Ireland), BT, Alcatel-Lucent (Germany), Nokia-Siemens Networks (Germany), Centre for Integrated Photonics (UK), and the Ghent University INTEC lab associated with IMEC (Belgium). The project has a total value of ¤3.9M with a cost to the EU of ¤2.2M. PIEMAN is a radically new photonic (all optical) communication system, which aims to enable future broadband services for business and residential users at much higher bandwidths and lower costs than is possible today. www.ist-pieman.org
About Tyndall National Institute, based at University College Cork
Tyndall National Institute, based in Cork, is one of Europe's leading research centres, specialising in ICT hardware research and the education of next generation researchers. It was established in 2004, and was developed in partnership between the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and UCC bringing together a critical mass of over 400 researchers, engineers, students and support staff focused on quality research and the commercialisation of technology through industry collaboration. Tyndall’s research expertise spans a range of technologies from atoms to systems in the areas of micro-nanoelectronics, microsystems, and photonics. The research centres are backed by a strong theory, modelling and design centre and a wafer fabrication facility with CMOS, III-V and MEMS capability. Learn more at www.tyndall.ie
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale. In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt
Alcatel-Lucent's vision is to enrich people’s lives by transforming the way the world communicates. Expert, driven, intuitive, innovative, Alcatel-Lucent is the first truly global communications solutions provider, with the most complete end-to-end portfolio of solutions and services in the industry. We are leaders in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services. Alcatel-Lucent provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. The Alcatel-Bell Labs research centre in Ireland was established in 2004 and serves as a global focal point for Alcatel-Lucent’s telecommunications value-chain-driven research, which is guided by all elements in the lifecycle of a product that exhibit an economic influence -- from initial design through production to customer use (experience). www.alcatel-lucent.com
About Nokia-Siemens Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.
About Centre for Integrated Photonics
CIP Technologies is the trading name of the Centre for Integrated Photonics Ltd, a leading manufacturer of advanced photonic hybrid integrated circuits and InP based optoelectronic chips, devices, arrays and modules for the communications and defence markets. With over 600 man-years of expertise in photonics and nearly 250 published articles and patents, CIP Technologies refines research into viable, manufacturable products based on leading edge technologies, helping customers develop the photonic products of tomorrow. CIP Technologies is a major provider of technical services and consultancy and its uniquely broad range of competencies is based on world-renowned research, incorporating III-V photonic materials, silicon micromachining, planar silica waveguides and network architecture design and analysis. With state-of-the-art, ISO9001:2000 registered, co-located fabrication, coating, test, validation and pilot production facilities, as well as strategic partnerships with volume packaging providers, CIP Technologies is able to develop and deliver exciting products based on these core competences. www.ciphotonics.com
About Ghent University
Founded in 1817, Ghent University is one of Belgium’s leading educational institutions with over 130 faculty departments spread over 11 faculties. The UGent INTEC department, associated with IMEC, is actively involved with fibre optics from the installation of the first optical fibre trunk link in Belgium in 1978, and has delivered numerous generations of PON prototypes covering 155Mbps up to 10 Gbps, ranging from 10 to 100km, and capable to connect up to 2048 subscribers. The INTEC_design laboratory specializes in broadband communication, for which high speed chips, complex multilayer boards and even complete instruments are conceived. A typical design team is international, and operates in close interaction with industrial research partners. INTEC_design maintains an international reputation by committing to real life design tasks, starting with study and system concept, all the way to the finishing of industrially acceptable prototypes or demonstrators. www.intec.ugent.be/design
Last modified: 11/09/2009