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Graphene-based All-Optical Technology Platform for Secure Internet of Things


The need for a next-generation computing platform becomes clear from IoT and 5G/6G and their high performance and low power requirements. Now, graphene and 2D materials (2DM) offer the unique ability to enable highly confined nonlinear interactions of light at low powers and at extremely low response times in the femtosecond range. However, it must be integrated with CMOS low-loss silicon nitride (SiN) platform that facilitates the possibility to create circuits for fast, low power, high bandwidth, general purpose computing and memory completely in the optical domain.


As the most important challenge comes from the maturity of the graphene processes with standard CMOS environments, the main goal of GATEPOST is to fabricate and demonstrate a radically new graphene-based all-optical data processing platform, integrated and tested in a real CMOS pilot line.


As a user case, we focus on a network security device for distributed denial of service (DDoS) detection and network packet inspection. Even though on average 170 cyber-attacks are performed per IoT device per day, there is still a huge lack of security due to the added power, latency, operating costs and bandwidth limitations involved. This is unacceptable, especially considering that the cybercrimes topped an estimated $318 billion in 2021 alone. With our graphene-based computing platform, we will show how low-power, low-latency and high bandwidth network security is ready for the IoT and 5G/6G future.


The full system showcases the unique expertise of each consortium member in all-optical digital logic, neuromorphic computing, memory and ultra-fast clock generation. These components are realized in the 2D-Experimental Pilot Line at IHP, allowing for scalable fabrication and strengthening the EU’s supply-chain in high-performance computing. In the future, the developed platform can be deployed for applications in AI, autonomous driving and more, paving the way for computing beyond von Neumann and Moore’s Law.

Graphene-based All-Optical Technology Platform for Secure Internet of Things


Leibniz Insitute for High Performance Microelectronics

The Leibniz Institute for Innovative Microelectronics (IHP) is a non-university research organisation in Germany. It is one of the world's leading research institutions in the field of silicon/germanium electronics and has expertise in the areas of semiconductor technology, materials research, high-frequency circuit design and system solutions. IHP is also a leader in the integration of graphene-based technologies.

IHP is the lead partner in the GATEPOST project and is responsible for process development for the integration of components on a large scale and for compatibility with silicon technology. In addition, IHP ensures that the developed components deliver the required performance.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a global edge-to-cloud company headquartered in Spring, Texas, US. The company connects, protects, analyses and makes use of data and applications regardless of their location. The Hewlett Packard Labs are focused on the transfer of advanced technologies into next-generation products and solutions. In collaboration with HPE business units and research partners, HPE Labs deliver innovations for exciting applications.

The Hewlett Packard Lab, based in Bruges, Belgium, is participating in GATEPOST. The all-optical network security technology developed as part of the GATEPOST project is being evaluated by HPE to determine how these photonic accelerators can be part of solutions currently being developed with power-hungry electronic data processing units (DPUs).

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest university in Greece and one of the largest universities in the EU with 81,500 students. The project partner is the Wireless and Photonic Systems and Networks (WinPhoS) research group, which was founded in 2016 and is based at the university's Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation. The research group brings together the Faculties of Physics, Computer Science and Computer Engineering. The research group has more than ten years of experience in the realisation of European funding projects.

In GATEPOST, WinPhoS is responsible for the overall development and evaluation of the photonic memory modules, the modelling and characterisation of the components developed with graphene, the optical and electrical characterisation test benches and the field demo test environment.

Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

Fraunhofer is the largest organisation for applied research in Europe, with 76 institutes and research centres in Germany. The Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) has been part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft since January 2003 and focuses its research on the entire spectrum of digital infrastructure. Specifically, the HHI develops optoelectronic semiconductor components, integrated optical circuits for data transmission, infrared sensors, terahertz spectroscopy and high-power semiconductor lasers.

In the GATEPOST project, HHI is responsible for building the optical engine. The project team will be involved in the design, fabrication, back-end activities such as coating and testing process, rod cleaving and dicing, and assembly. In the laboratory testing phase, HHI will contribute to component characterisation, far-field, small signal response and system experiments.

Akhetonics GmbH

Akhetonics GmbH is a start-up company developing the world's first all-optical XPU. The start-up was founded in 2021 in Berlin, Germany and has a branch in Munich, Germany. The two co-founders, Michael Kissner and Leonardo del Bino, have assembled an interdisciplinary team of 10 people with expertise in software engineering, quantum engineering, photonics and nonlinear optics.

Akhetonics GmbH is the main exploitation partner of the developed all-optical components. Within the GATEPOST project, Akhetonics GmbH is responsible for the system and device level modelling and design and will be involved in the demonstration and validation process.

Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum VZW (IMEC)

imec is a world-leading research, development and innovation centre for nanoelectronics and digital technology. The head office is located in Leuven, Belgium. The innovation centre also has branches in Ghent (Belgium), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Taiwan (Republic of China) and Florida (USA). Imec has a first-class infrastructure with a clean room capacity of 12,000 m2 and is a reliable partner for companies, start-ups and universities. The research focus is on electronic and photonic integrated circuits for optical applications, with an emphasis on fibre optic communication.

In the GATEPOST project, imec will contribute to the device modelling and design from an optical driver EIC point of view. The Belgian development and innovation centre will also support the system integration process and develop a suitable driver EIC to interface with the graphene photonic components. In addition, Imec will be involved in the demonstration and validation process of the developed components.

Enlightra Sárl

Founded in 2022 and based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Enlightra has developed the first commercial microcomb. The start-up has 15 team members who are experts in microcombs, packaging, manufacturing and PIC design and testing. Their expertise is unique and Enlightra is currently the leader in the field of frequency comb generators.

In the GATEPOST project, their main contribution will be the development of the microcomb-based source for high speed optical clocking. In particular, their expertise in nonlinear SiN integrated photonics and microcombs, photonic simulations, design layout, PIC characterisation, packaging and system integration will be very important for the implementation of the project.


EurA AG is an international technology, funding and networking consultancy. Based in Germany, the company has expertise in the coordination of research and development projects, the networking of companies and the establishment of strategic partnerships, technology transfer, sustainability and the commercialisation and marketing of innovative products.

In the GATEPOST project, EurA AG, together with IHP, is responsible for the project management and marketing of its implementation.


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