L3MATRIX First Press Release

L3MATRIX – Silicon Photonics Switching Matrix for Large Scale Networks

L3MATRIX is an EU Horizon 2020 research project (grant number 688544) of 36 month duration (1 December 2015 – 30 November 2018) developing the next generation of data-centre infrastructure. Reducing the power consumption and minimizing the number of non-revenue generating devices such as switches and links would allow the operators to deploy more servers and storage elements thereby increasing the DC throughput and increasing the revenues.


Cloud storage and computing, big data analytics and social media are driving the need for higher bandwidth communications in data centres (DCs). Concurrently, disaggregation and virtualization trends in the data-centre are forcing the traffic to be between servers and storage elements in the east-west direction. These changes require massive switching capabilities from the discrete switch elements. However, the technology is rapidly reaching a limit. The result is a multi-layered DC topology with high power consumption and long latency.


The L3MATRIX project provides novel technological innovations in the fields of silicon photonics (SiP) and 3D device integration. The project will develop a novel SiP matrix with a scale larger than any similar device with more than 100 modulators on a single chip and will integrate embedded laser sources with a logic chip thus breaking the limitations on the bandwidth-distance product.


The main focus of the project is the design and heterogeneous/ hybrid integration on silicon of lasers and other optical devices for PIC-based high-performance and high-density modules. A novel approach will be used with embedded III-V sources on the SOI substrate which will eliminate the need to use an external light source for the modulators. L3MATRIX provides a new method of building switching elements that are both high radix and have an extended bandwidth of 25 Gb/s in single mode fibres and waveguides with low latency. The power consumption of DC networks built with these devices is 10-fold lower compared to the conventional technology. The outcome of this approach is that large networks, in the Pb/s scale can be built as a single stage, non-blocking network. The single mode nature of the SiP chip allows scaling the network to the 2000 m range required in modern DCs.


With a budget of 3 Million Euro over 3 years, the project brings together European leading companies, universities and research institutes with strong expertise and experience in the fields of silicon photonics, III-V materials and 3D device integration.

The consortium with 8 partners from 6 different EU member states and two associated countries (Switzerland and Israel) is led by Fraunhofer IZM (Berlin, Germany) as project coordinator, and Dust Photonics (Tel Aviv – Jaffa, Israel) as technological manager. Further partners include AMS AG (Graz, Austria), IBM Research (Zurich, Switzerland), Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis (Thessaloniki, Greece), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Valencia, Spain), BRIGHT Photonics BV (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and University College London (London, United Kingdom) (


The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research in Europe, with 60 Fraunhofer Institutes at over 40 locations throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employs around 20,000 personnel and has a total annual research budget of EUR 1.8 billion. Some two thirds of this sum is generated through contract research on behalf of industry and publicly funded research projects. Branches in the USA and Asia promote international cooperation.


Downolad Press Release here.

L3MATRIX second newsletter released

Our Second L3MATRIX-Newsletter is now ready for download. We dedicated this newsletter as a special edition to the The European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in Gothenborg, Sweden this year. ECOC Exhibition, the largest European optical communications event, is a key meeting place for those within the fibre optic communication technology industry.

L3MATRIX will be among the exhibitors at the conference and we will present the 5th International Symposium for Optical Interconnect in Data Centres on Tuesday the 19th of September 2017.

The document is available to download here

Project first Newsletter released

The first L3matrix newsletter has been released in March 2017 and circulated to the attendees to the OFC 2017 conference which took place between the 19th and 23rd of March 2017 in Los Angeles, USA.

The document is available for download here: l3matrix first newsletter

5th International Symposium for Optical Interconnect in Data Centres

5th International Symposium for Optical Interconnect in Data Centres

Co-Located with 43rd European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2017)

Date: Tuesday, 19th September 2017

Location: Meeting Room J2, ECOC Exhibition 2017

Svenska Mässan – Entrance number 2, Mässans gata 24, Gothenburg, Sweden

More info on the venue here.

The symposium is focused on high-performance, low-energy and cost and small-size optical interconnects across the different hierarchy levels in data center. We intend to draw out and discuss the key technology enablers and inhibitors to widespread commercial proliferation of photonic interconnect in “mega” data centre environments and how the optical interconnect community can collectively help to address these.

The topics addressed will centre on passive and active embedded photonic interconnect technologies including optical circuit boards, polymer and glass waveguides, III-Vs, silicon photonics, photonic crystals and plasmonics in data centers.


The event is free, but registration is mandatory. Registration includes admission to symposium sessions, coffee breaks, lunch.




08:30 Registration


08:40 Welcome by Tolga Tekin (H2020 – L3MATRIX, Fraunhofer IZM)


Session 1: Enabling the data centre

09:00 Katharine Schmidtke (Facebook) Increasing datacenter bandwidth: A network or a technology issue?

09:20 Richard Pitwon (Seagate) The inevitable truth: Photonics and the digitisation of society

09:40 Robert Blum (Intel) Silicon Photonics and the future of optical connectivity in the data center

10:00 Salah Ibrahim (NTT) Enabling a highly scalable OPS/OCS DC network with hybrid optoelectronic routers

10:20 Elad Mentovich (Mellanox) & Chris Cole (Finisar): 1300nm vs. 1550nm


11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break


Session 2: Integrated photonics in the market place

11:20 Bert Offrein (IBM) Chip and system-level integration technologies for silicon photonics (pdf)

11:40 Kazuhiko Kurata (PETRA) Multimode commercial PIC transceivers

12:00 Tom Marrapode (AIM Photonics) Overview of iNEMI-IPSR Board-Level Optical Interconnect Project

12:20 Jeroen Duis (SmartPhotonics) The Integrated Photonics Revolution (pdf)

12:40 Peter De Dobbelaere (Luxtera) & James Regan (EFFECT Photonics): Si vs. InP



13:20 – 14:20 Lunch


Session 3: Advances in Integrated Photonics

14:20 Lars Brusberg (Corning) Glass Waveguides for Board-level Optical Interconnects (pdf)

14:40 Hideyuki Nawata (Nissan Chemicals) Polymer optical waveguide on package substrate

15:00 Blanca Ruiz (Reichle & De-Massari ) Embedded Polymer Waveguide to Optical Fiber Interconnects, creating the optimal link (pdf)

15:20 Timo Aalto (VTT) Silicon photonics on 3 and 12 µm thick SOI for optical interconnects (pdf)

15:40 Takaaki Ishigure (Keio University) Polymer optical waveguide circuit for high bandwidth density on-board interconnects

16:00 Round table discussion


16:20 – 16:40 Coffee break


Session 4: Where do we go next? Disruptive innovations

16:40 George Papen (UCSD) Parallel Optical Datacenter Networks

17:00 George Kanellos (H2020 – STREAMS, University of Bristol) ICT-STREAMS – WDM concepts for on-board optical interconnects

17:20 Manos Varvarigos (H2020 – NEPHELE, NTUA) NEPHELE project – Dynamic bandwidth assignment in slotted optical datacenter networks

17:40 Joni Mellin (H2020 – L3MATRIX, ams) ams Silicon Photonics: 3D Photonic interposer platform

18:00 Marco Romagnoli (H2020 – TERABOARD, CNIT) tbd

18:20 Segolene Olivier (H2020 – COSMICC, CEA-LETI) H2020 COSMICC : Silicon photonics for mid-board integrated transceivers targeting aggregated data rate beyond 1 Tb/s


18:40 End of Symposium

The event is free, but registration is mandatory. Registration includes admission to symposium sessions, coffee breaks, lunch.

Tolga Tekin (Fraunhofer IZM, Germany)
Richard Pitwon (Seagate, United Kingdom)
Nikos Pleros (AUTH, Greece)
Paraskevas Bakopoulos (Mellanox, Israel)



Previous Symposia:

4rd Optical Interconnect in Data Centers Symposium, ECOC 2016, Düsseldorf
3rd Optical Interconnect in Data Centers Symposium, ECOC 2015, Valencia
2nd Optical Interconnect in Data Centers Symposium, ECOC 2014, Cannes
1st Optical Interconnect in Data Centers Symposium, Laser Optics Berlin 2014

PhoxTroT’s 2nd Summer School on Optical Interconnects



PhoxTroT’s 2nd Summer School on Optical Interconnects

L3MATRIX supports PhoxTroT’s 2nd Summer School on Optical Interconnects at University of St. Andrews.

1st-4th of August 2016.

Co-organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (Fraunhofer IZM) and Seagate Technology in the frame of European ICT Project PhoxTroT, the summer school focuses on high-performance, low-energy and low-cost optical interconnects across the different hierarchy levels in data center and high-performance computing systems. There will be a wide range of participants from leading industries and universities around the globe, as well as lectures about striking topics. The lectures will focus on several subjects, all related to the newest important questions about optical interconnects. You will find themes such as Applications, On-board interconnects, On-chip Interconnects and CMPs, On-chip interconnects and Photonic Integration Technologies and also lectures coming from the Industrial perspective.