A consortium of European research firms and universities have begun a three-year, €2.19 million, project to cut the power consumption of telecoms networks in the region.
The group of five partners launched the Bismide and Nitride Components for High temperature Operation (BIANCHO) project yesterday, claiming that current networks consume up to 3% of the continent’s total electricity consumption.
Funding has been provided by the European Union’s Framework 7 program, and the consortium – comprising the Tyndall National Institute, Philipps University Marburg, University of Surrey, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology Semiconductor Physics Institute and CIP Technologies –aims to develop new semiconductor materials to make lasers and other photonic components more energy efficient.
The group plans to eliminate Auger recombination, a side effect of the way semiconductors are made that causes energy losses, by using dilute bismide and nitride alloys to eliminate heat in semiconductors.
It says up to 80% of the power used by current lasers is emitted as waste heat, which requires power-hungry thermo-electric coolers and air-conditioners to prevent overheating.