Flexible Broadband Communication, shortened to FlexCom, is a 4-year research project funded by The Netherlands Technologiestichting STW through the grant 13530.
The FlexCom is one of the application oriented research projects within the MEMPHIS II platform (www.memphisplatform.nl). MEMPHIS stands for Merging Electronics and Micro & nano Photonics in Integrated Systems.
A generic scheme of the next generation optical access and home network carrying multitude of wired and wireless services to fixed and mobile terminals inside homes is depicted in the following figure.
The customer demand for bandwidth is constantly rising. Furthermore, we see that the bandwidth demand is unpredictable and shows high variation over time. To anticipate on this rising demand and unpredictable behavior, not only the bandwidth has to be increased but also flexibility in connection has to be added to the network. Solutions for flexible and broadband optical communication networks will be identified and developed within this research project. In particular, we will focus on next generation Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-in-the-Home (FITH) networks. For FTTH we will develop a new approach using integrated optical devices in a central office and in user premises which is capable of identifying and allocating bandwidth demanded users in a dynamic way. Load balancing and power saving in the next generation time and wavelength division multiplexing (TWDM) scheme will be explored. For FITH we will implement a low-cost emerging home network solution utilizing a fiber which is suitable for easy installation in the home premises, such as plastic optical fiber (POF). Due to its do-it-yourself technology, POF networks can be installed in home premises by home owners. This POF solution will be compared with other optical fiber solutions such as silica bending insensitive single- and multimode fibers.