The pandemic illustrated just how important universal connectivity is today. To prepare for the next unforeseen challenge, we need to keep improving the reliability, sustainability and capacity of our optical and mobile communications systems.
As Canada Research Chair in Communications Systems Enabling the Cloud, Dr. Leslie Rusch is focusing on how we move data to and within data processing centres. Short-reach systems (at network edge or data centres) must be engineered very differently from the long-reach systems that aggregate signals for bulk transfers. She and her research team are taking what they know about fundamental devices (whether fibre-based or integrated photonic chips) and combining that knowledge with an appreciation for the unique requirements of specific links. Rather than creating general-purpose tools, they are introducing into their device design cycle a keen understanding of use cases for specific applications. They are optimizing device behaviour in the target system instead of targeting generic specifications, such as bandwidth or extinction ratio.