SPRINTER consortium consists of 12 partners, among which 2 academic organizations (ICCS and UC3M), 3 industry-oriented research institutes (FhG-HHI, IMEC and CSEM), 2 SMEs (PHIX and CMC) and 5 large companies (LXI, NVIDIA, ICOM, ERI-IT and FILL) originating from 10 countries (Greece, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Italy, Austria, Israel, Switzerland).

Having a strong track record of coordinating and leading EC-funded projects to success, ICCS aims to continue this tradition as the coordinator of SPRINTER. Under this context, ICCS will oversee the overall project execution, undertaking an active role in all WPs. On the technical forefront, ICCS is a system partner with broad range of system modelling and characterization capabilities, and unique expertise in the provision of an interface between the component and the system level. Two groups from ICCS will participate in the project (the photonic communications group and the smart systems group), undertaking also the responsibility for the system integration and testing activities of the SPRINTER prototypes.

LXI is a leading global provider of silicon nitride chips with large experience in component integration and assembly processes. Within SPRINTER, LXI will lead the efforts on the development of hybrid PICs for the fast tunable 10 Gb/s and the FSO/mmWave transceivers. Under that context, LXI will be responsible for the fabrication of the PZT-based TriPleX chips that will host the optical beamforming network on the TriPleX-PolyBoard hybrid platform, as well as the development of the fast tunable ECL that will act as the optical source in both transceivers.

FhG Heinrich Hertz institute is one of the leading laboratories worldwide with discernible experience among others on high-speed InP-based EML and PD components, polymer-based PLCs and hybrid PICs, with significant collaborations in a commercial context. Under SPRINTER, FhG participates with 3 different groups (hybrid integration group, InP group and THz group), that will fabricate all the required polymer motherboards that the optical transceivers will rely on, whilst also bringing into the consortium its unique expertise in high-speed EML and PD arrays.

NVIDIA is a leading system vendor as far as switching solutions go, offering a broad portfolio of interconnect products such as switches, NICs, network processors etc., whilst also being heavily involved in photonics research activities supporting promising transceiver solutions. To that end, NVIDIA will provide, apart from the technology developed within SPRINTER, the necessary equipment during the complete system tests and, as a leading system vendor, NVIDIA will be responsible for the protection and management of IPR and contribution to standardization activities. Moreover, NVIDIA will further contribute to the project through its beyond state-of-the-art VCSEL technology, offering high-capacity connectivity with vast reduction of the overall cost and power consumption, which will be integrated on the PolyBoard platform in a collaboration between NVIDIA and FhG.

CSEM is a research and technology organization, with strong expertise in micro-technologies, heavily affiliated with industrial innovation. Under SPRINTER, CSEM will be responsible for the provision of the disruptive LNOI technology, which is one of the most promising emerging PIC platforms with the potential to revolutionize the current photonic ecosystem, developing a push-pull MZM with ultra-low power consumption and significantly reduced driving voltage requirement.

The electrical part of the SRINTER prototypes will be developed by IMEC, an independent research center that performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. IMEC will rely on its strong expertise on SiGe BiCMOS technology and will develop the low-cost energy efficient driving units for the EML- and VCSEL-based transceivers, the TIAs that will be implemented at the receiver part of both high-capacity transceivers and the burst-mode receivers used at the fast-tunable module.

Relying on their significant expertise on high-frequency wireless communication links based on integrated antenna solutions, UC3M will be responsible for the design of the RF 4×4 slot planar antenna that will be integrated on the PolyBoard platform, enabling the wireless transmission of mmW signals. To that end, UC3M will leverage its broad range of modelling capabilities at the component and system level, in order to optimize the design and the fabrication process of the planar antenna array, as well as optimize its integration on the polymer motherboard. At the receiving part of the mmWave link, a single E-band horn antenna will be deployed, provided by UC3M.

Assembly and packaging of all SPRINTER prototypes will be performed by PHIX, a high-tech packaging solution provider, specialized in chip-to-chip hybrid integration, coupling to fiber arrays, and interfacing of DC and RF electrical signals. PHIX builds optoelectronic modules based on all major PIC technology platforms, including Silicon, Indium Phosphide, Silicon Nitride, and PolyBoard. Within SPRINTER, all prototypes will be packaged using large area gold boxes to enable their operation under harsh industrial environments with high-humidity and temperature fluctuations, guaranteeing modules’ longevity and nominal performance.

ICOM is a system vendor with a leading position in the global market of wireless transport equipment up to the E-band. Within SPRINTER, ICOM will bring all the sophistication of their products in baseband processing and will provide solutions based on COTS products operating at the E-band for the transmission and reception of the wireless mmWave signal. These modems will handle the 10 Gb/s Ethernet traffic coming from the upper layers of the network that will be efficiently modulated, producing high-order QAM signals, able to be wirelessly transmitted with high spectral efficiency. After the detection of the wireless signal by the high-gain horn antennas, ICOM will provide RF and baseband units enabling the demodulation of the QAM signal and its encoding into a 10 Gb/s Ethernet signal, offering a complete solution with high maturity.

CMC is a company with significant expertise in the development of SDN and slicing tools that pioneered the integration of SDN for optimal resource allocation and network slicing in mobile backhaul. Within SPRINTER, CMC will lead the efforts focusing on the development of the network management system. More specifically, CMC will deliver the TSN translator for the wireless network, that will support the functionality to integrate wireless devices as TSN components. Furthermore, CMC will leverage its expertise in SDN, and will provide the SDN controller that will manage the TSN configuration models, managing both wireless and wireline transceivers as well as optical TSN switches.

ERI-IT is a leading global system vendor and provider of telecommunication solutions. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators and industries. Within SPRINTER, ERI-IT will provide its expertise in order to perform the validation of the SPRINTER prototypes in TSN-enabled environment, in its premises in Genova, Italy. These experiments will provide the potential to extract the KPIs of the SPRINTER solutions determined for low-latency and time deterministic communication, and perform real-time evaluation of the overall system architecture, within this state-of-the-art infrastructure. As a prime vendor, ERI-IT will be also responsible for the performance of the market analysis and roadmapping activities.

FILL will act as the end-user in the consortium, responsible for the demonstration and exploitation of the SPRINTER technology. FILL is one of the world’s leading industrial companies in terms of automotive and machinery technology, with significant interest in R&I projects. As the end-user, FILL will offer significant contribution to the definition of the application scenarios and high-level requirements of the SPRINTER technology, while also leading the activities focusing on the exploitation of the SPRINTER foreground knowledge, as well as contributing to the market analysis and roadmapping in collaboration with ERI-IT, as the main beneficiaries of the SPRINTER developments. The demonstration of the project’s complete architecture will be realized in FILL’s industrial facilities, showcasing the disruptive potential of SPINTER technology in a complete approach.