Acronym: aloha

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Project acronym: ALOHA

Project title: AlInGaAs Lasers for Optical Home Access

Project duration: 2.5 years, from March 2011 to August 2013
Coordinator (organisation): CST Global

Scientific representative of the coordinator (name and title): Dr Wyn Meredith


Final publishable summary report
Executive summary
The ALOHA project aimed to develop the technology for AlInGaAs lasers capable of high performance and low unit cost for the home access market. The project involved a mix of materials, components and systems partners: CST (Coordinator, UK), HHI (DE), IQE (UK), plus unfunded partners Eblana (IE) and NSN (DE). COGO (DE) were also involved but withdrew early in the project due to the company being put into formal administration.
The primary objective of developing a platform approach to high speed component development was achieved, and the performance of the demonstrator devices was successful to commercial grade specifications in several areas including 10Gb/s Fabry-Perot (FP), 10G discrete mode (DM), and 2.5G distributed feedback (DFB) lasers.
Company know-how has been developed in the following areas:

  • High quality AlInGaAs laser Multiple Quantum well epitaxy for high temperature operation

  • High uniformity AlInGaAs epitaxy on 4” InP substrate platforms

  • Ridge waveguide laser chip fabrication processes for high yielding devices

  • Semiconductor etching and fabrication of DM laser chip architectures

  • Optimisation of fabrication parameters (such as metallisation and dielectric passivation) for low parasitic capacitance high speed laser designs >10Gb/s

  • Optimisation of wafer level fabrication processes for >90% on wafer yield

  • Design and realisation of high yielding DFB laser chips using electron beam written buried grating structures

  • Novel processes for low-loss, high volume laser chip fabrication up to 10M unit per annum

The development of the ‘higher-end’ tunable solutions proved more challenging, but the project activity promoted understanding of the end user requirements and timescale for need. The tunable DM and fixed wavelength EML development led to high quality, specific IP, but would need significant additional effort to commercialise. Excellent 10Gb/s to 43Gb/s modulation performance of the developed EMLs could be demonstrated, showing that the approach used is suitable for future commercialisation.

The collaboration efforts were very successful overall though the withdrawal of COGO negated the project from meeting all original objectives.
A patent has been filed by Eblana on tunable DM technology. There is considerable prior art in this area of low cost tunable devices though it has technical flaws or is not commercially viable. The vernier DM approach is believed to be the first that is both technically sound and commercially viable.

Summary of project context and objectives
The project addressed the need for high specification, semiconductor laser sources for Next Generation Passive Optical Networking (PON) applications, such as 10GPON, LR PON and CWDM PON.
These lasers need to be:

The project aimed to address this and:

  1. Develop and demonstrate a toolkit of device types and fabrication processes to address above

  2. Assess the manufacturability and volume scalability of such solutions

  3. Determine the commercial potential of such solutions

  4. Demonstrate and extend foundry collaborative model for commercialisation

Description of the main S&T results/foregrounds

  1. A range of device types have been demonstrated which have the potential to address the commercial specifications required. Those advances are outlined under section B2.

  2. We have demonstrated that the baseline product can be produced reproducibly in high yield, and have a roadmap for volume scale up for several of the device demonstrators

  3. We have developed viable commercial models for foundry products at the epi-wafer, fabricated wafer, and chip level for several of the demonstrators.

  4. We now have developed extended relationships, collaborating with manufacturing partners to proceed on a collaborative commercial supply model. Commercial contracts have been executed using this extended foundry supply model as a result of collaboration forged during the project.

The part of the project dedicated to a low cost tunable laser solution was not achieved due to the fact that the primary partner in this area (COGO) went into formal administration and was acquired in the second year of the project.

Potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results
The potential societal benefit will be a major impact on the ability of telecoms providers to deliver the increase in data and voice bandwidth projected over the next 10 years, see above. Without the cost effective supply of high speed optical components, progress in the deployment of high capacity networks will grind to a halt. In this case the benefits of ubiquitous connectivity already experienced by a small proportion of the global population will not be realised across emerging and third world countries.

Exploitable outcomes:

Project public website and relevant contact details.
Project website address:

Project coordinator: Dr Wyn Meredith, email


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