EECS Special Seminar: Caroline P. Lai (Tyndall National Institute) - "Photonic Technologies for Next-Generation Optical Transport Networks"


Event Speaker: 

Caroline P. Lai

Event Location: 

Grier A, 34-401A

Event Date/Time: 

Monday, March 3, 2014 - 3:00pm

We are witnessing an explosive growth in Internet traffic demand caused by broadband applications such as high-definition video streaming. Current network technologies cannot scale to meet these user-driven bandwidth demands with sustainable energy and cost. This is driving the need to redesign the optical transport network that forms the basis of the future Internet. Novel, energy-efficient optical network designs and photonic components will be imperative to support the rising bandwidth demands with low cost and reduced power consumption.
In this talk, I will present two complementary designs that can effectively address these challenges. The first approach features a cross-layer optimized network, which uses optical switching and performance monitoring to create impairment-aware networks. The cross-layer framework allows optical packet transmission to be based on the physical-layer performance and higher-layer, quality-of-service parameters. Experimental demonstrations of the cross-layer platform show that packet protection switching techniques can be realized. The second approach uses reflective network architectures, which leverage multi-channel arrayed photonic integrated circuits with custom electronic circuitry. The talk will discuss some experimental systems results achieved with key enabling reflective hybrid photonic integrated components operating at 10 Gb/s and 25 Gb/s for targeted optical access, metro transport, and datacenter interconnection network applications.
Caroline P. Lai received her B.A.Sc. degree (Hons) from the University of Toronto, Canada in 2006, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, NY, in 2008 and 2011, respectively, all in electrical engineering. At Columbia, she was a member of the Lightwave Research Laboratory, working with Keren Bergman and Gil Zussman. From May 2010 to August 2010, she was a research intern in the Optical Link and Systems Design group at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NY. She is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Photonic Systems Group at Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland.
Her research interests include energy-efficient photonic technologies and cross-layer optimized communications for future optical access and metro transport networks, in addition to optical interconnection networks for high-performance computing systems and datacenters. She has received various awards, including the IEEE Photonics Society Graduate Student Fellowship in 2010. She is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society and the OSA.