In a groundbreaking development, a research team led by Professor Wang Cheng from the Department of Electrical Engineering at City University of Hong Kong has successfully created a cutting-edge microwave photonic chip. This innovative chip is capable of performing ultrafast analog electronic signal processing and computation using optics, making it a significant advancement in the field of electronic engineering.

The newly developed chip is 1,000 times faster and consumes less energy than traditional electronic processors, offering a wide range of applications across various industries. From 5/6G wireless communication systems to high-resolution radar systems, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and image/video processing, the potential uses of this chip are vast and revolutionary.

One of the key features of this chip is its ability to achieve ultra-high-speed analog signal processing with chip-scale integration, high fidelity, and low power consumption. This is made possible by combining ultrafast electro-optic conversion with low-loss, multifunctional signal processing on a single integrated chip. The chip operates on a thin-film lithium niobate (LN) platform, enabling multi-purpose processing and computation tasks of analog signals.

The research team’s findings, published in the prestigious journal Nature, mark a significant milestone in the field of microwave photonics. The integrated MWP processing engine based on the LN platform can perform high-speed analog computation with ultrabroad processing bandwidths of 67 GHz and excellent computation accuracies. This breakthrough builds upon previous research efforts, including the development of CMOS-compatible integrated electro-optic modulators on the LN platform by colleagues at Harvard University and Nokia Bell labs.

The development of this microwave photonic chip paves the way for a new era in electronic signal processing and computation. With the ability to achieve compact sizes, high signal fidelity, and low latency, these chips represent a significant advancement in chip-scale analog electronic processing and computing engines. As the demand for faster and more efficient electronic systems continues to grow, the potential applications of these chips are vast and limitless.

The research team’s groundbreaking work in developing a world-leading microwave photonic chip has the potential to revolutionize the field of electronic engineering. With its ultrafast processing speeds, low energy consumption, and wide range of applications, this chip represents a significant step forward in the future of electronic signal processing and computation.


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