The current 4G system already exploits the available bandwidth optimally. The stringent demands of the 5G wireless communication system, the Internet-of-Things and future aerospace applications require either larger bandwidths, only available at mm-wave frequencies, or the deployment of multi-antenna systems at a massive scale. We propose an innovative generic design
procedure for the pervasive integration and implementation of cutting-edge photonic ICs with large-scale active antenna systems. The modular design will result in massive antenna arrays of which amplitude and phase can be steered at real time. This holistic design approach will leverage the key benefits of photonic integrated circuits, such as broadband squint-free beam steering,
excellent EMI-immunity, low-losses and small footprints, and of dedicated compact, highly efficient RF components, such as antennas, filters and power dividers. Novel broadband opticalelectronic interfacing strategies, based upon thorough optical-electronic co-optimization, will be developed to guarantee excellent performance in terms of bandwidth, losses and distortion.
Operating frequencies will gradually be pushed beyond 60 GHz up to terahertz frequencies.
Generic (Photonic) Integrated Circuits, implementing essential standard functionality, will be optimally interfaced to (off-chip) easy-to-adapt components, such as antennas and filters.