The structure of TERABOARD project was chosen to strongly reinforce the cooperation among several research institutions and large companies, covering the full value chain from R&D to industrial product manufacturing to system applications. To ensure that every choice will be in line with industrial and market needs, in TERABOARD the work package responsibilities are assigned to experts coming from the industry. TERABOARD will directly contribute to strengthening European telecommunications capability and R&D pushing CMOS photonics integration density on a chip beyond the state of the art, in order to give a strategic benefit both at component and system levels. Thus, TERABOARD will guarantee not only support of competitiveness of European telecom industry at the technological level via strengthening its manufacturing base in photonics, but also will widen market opportunities in communication for data center arenas.
TERABOARD will enable European telecom industry to stay at the forefront of electronics and photonics development and applications. Telecommunication networks are essential infrastructure of existing and future internet solutions. The success of telecommunications in the last 25 years and the ability of delivering an ever increasing capacity at reduced cost per bit allow predicting even further development. Telecommunication networks serve as the central linking infrastructure of the information-based society. TERABOARD project offers a clear contribution in transforming the communication network infrastructures into a versatile tool to support the knowledge-based economy by creating foundations for novel network infrastructure architectures.
Furthermore, the higher energy efficiency will be the main point toward the reduction of CO2 emissions. Data centers are currently on the top of the list of high power consuming infrastructures and have a significant impact on the amount of CO2 emissions. Most of the power consumption is due to the communication network infrastructure, i.e. network switches. Extensive research is undertaken to reduce the total power consumption of data centers and simultaneously satisfy the growing need for bandwidth and computing resources. A possible solution is to limit the electronics in hardware infrastructure and exploit the recent advancements in optical transmission systems. Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical transmission systems, though increase spectral efficiency, are power hungry. TERABOARD will limit their use only to the edge connections to reduce the cost of fiber array links, and will use grey links for intra-board connections. The reduction in power consumption enabled by the TERABOARD technology is achieved due to the lower power required to switch and keep on the networking apparatus, as well as lower power required for the cooling. The resulting 10-times reduction in power consumption will have a significant impact in reducing CO2 emissions.