Project Summary

WARP-5 is driven by the internet explosion and the question for sustainable bandwidth delivery in the access segment of the ICT infrastructure. It endeavours the advancement of optical metro-access networks through the new paradigm of coherent ultra-dense WDM systems. Efforts towards capacity and reach extension are often hampered by their system complexity, which then constitutes a roadblock for commercial deployment in Fibre-to-the-Home networks.
WARP-5 aims to provide the required potential for a next-generation photonic Tb/s-capacity ICT infrastructure and the credentials for low cost and power consumption. It does so by disruptively tackling two important pillars of ICT networks: their capacity and scalability.

WARP-5 will unlock the potential of advanced modulation formats in cost-sensitive ICT segments such as optical access. A novel modulation scheme for off-the-shelf devices radically improves simple intensity modulation towards low-cost 16-level QAM. The applied technique enables a high guaranteed per-user data rate of 10 Gb/s, without raising cost and energy consumption. The 30-fold increase in the granted bandwidth with respect to commercially available standards such as XG-PON comes with a high spectral occupancy and a narrow channel spacing of 5 GHz.

Scalability of common ICT infrastructure will be guaranteed not only by the envisaged transition from the electrical TDM domain to the pure optical and highly granular WDM domain; WARP-5 adopts a disruptive self-pumped amplification scheme that transforms background noise into supportive gain without electrically powered field equipment, providing a “green” and effective solution to smoothly grow and migrate the network through reach and split extension.
Flexibility of the metro-access network architecture will be supported in terms of resiliency and dynamic bandwidth allocation by means of fully-passive reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers. WARP-5's network nodes are designed in a way that allows operation without a locally deployed electrical power supply, thus decreasing the operational expenditures while adding network resource reconfiguration and restoration capabilities for the metro feeder but also for the mobile backhaul segment.
WARP-5 will demonstrate a next-generation ICT infrastructure with a long reach of 100 km and beyond, an aggregated capacity of up to 5 Tb/s and a high per-PON density of 1000 users.

The Marie Curie grant, funded by the European Commission through its FP7 framework programme, supports the principal investigator, Dr. Bernhard Schrenk, by directly providing him research independency for carrying out scientific work in the field of coherent optical metro-access networks.