Energy- and size-efficient ultra-fast plasmonic circuits for neuromorphic computing architectures
Energy- and size-efficient ultra-fast plasmonic circuits for neuromorphic computing architectures
Energy- and size-efficient ultra-fast plasmonic circuits for neuromorphic computing architectures



The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), GR is the largest university in Greece, established in 1925. Today the main campus extends over an area of 429 metric acres in the heart of the city and comprises 10 Faculties organized in a total number of 40 Schools that cover the full range of scientific disciplines. More than 70.000 undergraduate and 8.000 postgraduate students are working towards their degrees at AUTH, while more than 2.200 Faculty members are employed as Teaching and Research personnel.

AUTH will participate in PlasmoniAC with two research groups:

1) The Wireless and Photonic Systems and Networks (WinPhoS) research group, established in 2016 at AUTH’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation (C.I.R.I.) as a common facility of AUTH’s Departments of Physics, Informatics and Electrical and Computer Engineering. The main research activities of WinPhoS extend along a broad area in the field of photonics and wireless technologies, with the main focus being integrated photonics and plasmonics, optical interconnects converged Fiber-Wireless networks for 5G networks, 5G Fronthauling, οptical RAM architectures and network-on-chip technologies and architectures. It is a fully equipped laboratory with a range of high-speed test and measurement systems for the characterization of passive and active photonic devices at bit rates up to 64 Gbps. WinPhoS is currently coordinating four H2020 projects in the areas of integrated photonics, optical interconnects and 5G networks (MOICANA, ICT-STREAMS ICT-PLASMOFAB and 5GPHOS), while it participates in several other (PLACMOS, QAMELEON, L3MATRIX, MASSTART). WinPhoS has also participated in several FP7 research projects (PLATON, RAMPLAS, MIRAGE, COMANDER and PHOXTROT), coordinating the three of them (COMANDER, RAMPLAS and PLATON). More information about Win.Phos can be found in

2) The Artificial Intelligence & Information Analysis (AIIA) research group, part of AUTH’s Department of Informatics. AIIA has been an active research group working for more than fifteen years in digital media and related areas. It consists of five faculty members, 9 researchers, and 7 PhD students. The group has strong cooperation with other Universities, research centers and industrial partners in the area of its interests through projects mainly funded by the European Union. AIIA has undertaken around 35 international and 14 national research projects. As a result of this research more than 658 publications in international scientific journals, and conference proceedings, 8 books, and 42 book chapters have been published. AIIA has organized and hosted IEEE NSIP1995, the biggest international scientific event on image processing IEEE ICIP2001 and co-organized the 2003 International Workshop on Interactive Multimedia Content Production. More information about AIIA can be found in


Prof. Nikolaos Pleros This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. George Dabos This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Angelina Totovic This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The University of Southampton (SOTON), UK, one of the leading universities in Britain, was founded in 1952 and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of UK Universities. SOTON is an excellent venue for conducting cutting-edge research and for providing high quality education and has been ranked 96th in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. It has been ranked 8th in the UK for research and has 97% of its research environment rated as world leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework, 2014). It has more than 17,100 undergraduate and 7,500 postgraduate students from over 140 different countries. In 2016/17 alone SOTON has received over €150M in research grants and contracts, including over €17M from the European Commission. SOTON has a successful track record of industrial collaborations and is at the centre of a cluster of local high technology companies. It has an enviable track record in the generation of patentable work, with a portfolio of over 250 patents. To ensure the impact of its research projects, SOTON’s Research & Innovation Services (R&IS) is responsible for professional protection of IP and supporting commercial development with industry. R&IS has had considerable success, as a world-leading business incubator, and has launched 28 spin-out companies since 2000.

SOTON has also a strong record of accomplishment of working in European projects, especially within the Framework Programme. The EC 7th FP7 Monitoring Report ranked SOTON 15th out of all higher and secondary education organisations for number of participations during 2007-2013. Throughout the FP7 Southampton received over €125M in research grants and was involved in 318 projects, including 63 ICT. Since the start of H2020 Southampton has been awarded 153 grants worth over €102M (EC Participant Portal).

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences includes the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, incorporating the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). FEPS has a strong background working on international research projects, including 109 H2020 projects worth in excess of €61M.

In PlasmoniAC, the ORC will be responsible to lead WP3 on Computation and Interconnect Device technology (WP3). Its main role in the project will be the deployment of all Si3N4 waveguide structures, contributing also the 3D integration platform and to the SiOC target preparation and deposition in its Si3N4 wafers. It will also undertake the integration of Si3N4 on the InP nanophotonic structures for the plasmo-photonic activation module.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich (ETHZ), CH, Switzerland, is a top-ranking international university in the fields of technology and natural science. ETHZ has more than 19,000 students from whom 4000 are doctoral students. ETHZ has more than 500 professors engaged in teaching and research. Till today, 21 Nobel laureates are linked with ETHZ. The Institute of Electromagnetic Fields (IEF) at ETHZ is headed by Prof. Leuthold. It is involved in research and development of optical communication devices and systems. Areas of interest include silicon photonics, plasmonics and novel modulation formats, beam forming and pulse shaping as well as Tbit/s transmission systems. The IEF is further known for the expertise high-speed integrated optics and high-speed transmission.

ETHZ will design, develop and characterize the high-speed plasmonic-ferroelectric modulator technology on the silicon-nitride (SiN) platform. ETHZ will also characterize the high-speed graphene photodetectors developed by the project partner AMO.


Juerg Leuthold This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andreas Messner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Manuel Kohli This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tobias Blatter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), FR features more than 2000 researchers and more 55000 students. Within UBFC, the Laboratory Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne (LICB), jointly operated by CNRS, counts about 270 Physicists, Chemists, Engineers and Technicians. The main activities of the laboratory are dealing with new optical functionalities, new materials for industry, medicine and telecommunications. More specifically the laboratory includes a photonic department deeply involved in non-linear control, plasmonic devices for datacom applications and sensing. Among several technical platforms such as telecom characterization set-up, the LICB is organized around a micro- fabrication facility allowing the processing of plasmonic devices.

UBFC will be responsible for the development and processing of SiOC, for the characterization of its optical properties and for the design of the thermos-optic SiOC-based plasmonic CGS waveguide structure. UBFC will also contribute to the design of the plasmonic weighting elements and will undertake the integration of the plasmonic weights in PlasmoniAC’s 3D integrated platform.


Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), FR was formed in June 2016, via the merge of LPN-CNRS (Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures) and IEF (Institut d’Electronique Fondamentale). C2N-CNRS carries out research activities within the general context of nano-sciences, at the crossroads of quantum optics and electronics, of physics, chemistry and biology, of materials science and device physics. C2N-CNRS aims at developing the new technologies and the concepts that will initiate innovation both in basic and in applied science. The institutes employ 120 full-time researchers and 80 engineers and technicians.

CNRS will be in charge of the design, development and characterization of the InP-based photonic crystal (PhC) nano-laser diodes and the InP PhC thermo-optic heaters to be co-integrated with SiN into a sigmoid, tanh and self-feedback activation module.


Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum (IMEC) is the world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and Europe’s largest independent non-profit research centre on nano-electronics. Imec is an independent research centre, founded by the Belgian Flemish Government in 1984. The Department of Information Technology (INTEC) of Ghent University (UGent) act as an associated division of IMEC since 1984. As from October 1, 2016, imec merged with iMinds, resulting in one of the largest digital ICT research institutes in Europe. The IMEC-IDLab Design research group in this proposal is very active in optoelectronic front-end and (sub-) system design since the early nineties. The IDLab-Design group is currently one of the leading groups in the research and development of high-speed, low-power transmitter and receiver integrated circuits for next generation transport, metro, access, datacenter and radio-over-fiber networks. Developments are ongoing in the frame of various FP7 EU-projects (PHOXTROT and SPIRIT) and are continuing in the frame of H2020 (FLEX5GWARE, TERABOARD, ICT-STREAMS, WIPE, OPTIMA, 5GPHOS, PICTURE and QAMELEON). In Nov. 2014, the Design group was awarded the 3rd biannual Greentouch 1000x award together with Bell Labs/Alcatel-Lucent and Orange Labs.

IMEC will be mainly responsible for the design, development and characterization of the high-performance electronic IC to be incorporated in the plasmo-electronic activation module.


Prof. Xin (Scott) Yin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IBM Research - Zurich

IBM, CH is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in Armonk, New York. It is the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, with more than 350,000 employees serving clients in 175 countries. IBM lives at the intersection of technology and business, providing cognitive computing and cloud-based solutions that are changing the way the world works. Utilizing its business consulting, technology and R&D expertise, IBM helps clients become smarter as the planet becomes more digitally interconnected. IBM invests more than $5 billion each year in R&D and, for 26 consecutive years, has earned more U.S. patents than any other organization.

At IBM Research, we invent things that matter to the world. Today, we are pioneering the most promising and disruptive technologies that will transform industries and society. We are driven to discover. IBM Research – Zurich is one of IBM’s 12 research labs, which includes 3,000 scientists on six continents. The spectrum of research activities ranges from exploratory research in areas such as quantum systems, neuromorphic computing and nanoscience as the basis for future computing technology, to cloud computing and storage, cognitive computing and systems, systems biology, cybersecurity and privacy and most recently blockchain. In 2011, a new facility for collaborative nanoscale research was opened on the IBM campus -- the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center.

IBM Research - Zurich contributes to PlasmoniAC by providing bariumtitanate layers for electro-optical plasmonic modulators and memristive devices for non-volatile optical tuning elements


Bert Offrein This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stefan Abel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Antonio La Porta This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mikro- und Optoelektronik mbH (AMO), DE a German (non-profit) high-tech-SME with approximately 40 employees, runs a 150/200 mm pilot line and specializes in R&D for micro- and optoelectronic applications. Our mission is to demonstrate innovative technologies for nanoelectronics and nanophotonics and their implementation in novel device architectures at a prototype level, including small volume fabrication. A broad base of advanced semiconductor process technologies is available and offered as foundry services. AMO’s main activities fall into the fields of graphene, opto-electronics and advanced lithography developments. A flexible optical characterisation setup is available as well as electrical characterisation tools for integrated electro-optical devices and modules, especially in Datacom setups. Fabricated devices and subsystems are exploited by AMO as a low volume foundry or transferred to key players in the field.

During the last few years the collaboration of AMO’s Graphene and Nanophotonics groups has yielded excellent results, including absorption and phase modulators, infrared transparent heaters and ultra-fast graphene photodetectors. The latter are a highlight result, repeatedly claiming the title of the fastest integrated photodetector on the silicon platform.

AMO leads WP4 and will be responsible for designing and deploying the plasmonically-enhanced graphene photodetector on Si3N4 to be employed in the plasmo-electronic activation module.


Mellanox Technologies LTD (MLNX), IL is a supplier of end-to-end InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage. MLNX offers a broad portfolio of interconnect products: adapters, switches, software, cables and silicon for a range of markets including computing, enterprise Data centers, Web 2.0, Cloud, Storage and financial services. MLNX’s top notch equipment is preferred among HPC cluster managers: MLNX connects 39% of TOP500 systems (192 systems) as well as all of 25G, 40G and 100G Eth. systems in the TOP500 list. MLNX accelerates 2 of the TOP5 supercomputers. The company has over 2500 employees globally and 2/3 of its global workforce is hosted in Israel, with a significant portion (~1400) conducting research and development. MLNX has several R&D centers in Europe with main HQ being in Denmark, UK, Czech Republic and Sweden. MLNX offers a broad portfolio of optical interconnect products (active optical cables, transceivers and mid-board optical modules) including multi-mode and single-mode solutions for various deployment scenarios in different datacenter tiers. MLNX is strongly involved in photonics research activities aiming at promising transceiver technologies for beyond 400 Gb/s interconnects (e.g. silicon photonic, plasmonics, high-speed VCSELs etc.)

MLNX is a vertically integrated company developing in-house a broad range of network interface cards (NICs), switches, network processors as well as the associated management software. Mellanox has a breadth of research activities in the fields of High-Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, storage, Network Function Virtualization, advanced network acceleration technologies (RDMA, DPDK), switch programmability, Big Data, virtualization and cloud. MLNX has pioneered the development of an end-to-end commercial solution for 200 Gb/s combining its photonics and systems developments in a consolidated solution.

MLNX participates in PlasmoniAC through the Advanced Technologies group, which consists of more than 20 engineers and senior/principal engineers. The group has broad experience in the development and characterization of cutting-edge transceiver prototypes (from proof-of-concept to pre-commercial level) within the context of internal MLNX projects, as well as national and European research grants, and has access to assembly equipment that replicates the exact capabilities of the MLNX production lines. MLNX has a broad range of optical interconnect products based on various technologies (EMLs, silicon photonics, VCSELs) to address the needs of different segments in the datacentre and is currently a fabless company working in collaboration with its fabrication partners. The Advanced Technology group is well integrated into the company’s R&D structure and interacts regularly with the hardware and software architecture groups on topics related to PlasmoniAC such as including AI and hardware acceleration.

MLNX is responsible for the PCB assembly of the integrated chip prototypes (linear plasmonic neurons, plasmo-electronic and nanophotonic activation modules) onto fully functional device prototypes. MLNX will design and fabricate the PCBs and will assemble the respective PICs and electronic ICs. MLNX will also contribute to the experimental validation of the plasmonic neurons in WP6. Moreover, MLNX will be the main partner in linking PlasmoniAC’s platform to IT security-oriented applications, providing the application use cases and respective benchmarking datasets for deploying a plasmonic neuromorphic layout capable for threat and malware detection. MLNX will lead the InEC and leads also WP7 on Exploitation and Dissemination.


VPIphotonics GmbH (VPI), DE provides professional simulation software supporting requirements of integrated photonics and fibre optics applications, and optical transmission system and network applications. Further, it supplies professional consulting services addressing customer-specific design, analysis and optimization requirements, and delivers training courses on suitable modelling techniques and advanced software capabilities. VPI’s award-winning off the-shelf and customized solutions are used extensively in research and development, and by product design and marketing teams at hundreds of corporations worldwide. Over 160 academic institutions have joined the company’s University Program enabling students, educators and researchers access to VPI’s latest modelling and design innovations.

VPI will develop a library of plasmonic devices that can be integrated with the company’s commercial simulation software (VPIphotonics Design Suite). The library will be used to build and simulate the neuromorphic circuits and system use-cases envisaged in the project. As such, the company’s long-established expertise and experience are a perfect match for the work that it will undertake within PlasmoniAC, as well as the overall objectives of the project.


Onur Düzgöl This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lumiphase, CH is a Swiss start-up founded in 2020. The core activity of the company is to develop advanced light switches based on ferroelectric materials integrated in the silicon photonic platform (PIC). Its mission is to allow component, sub-system and solution providers to take advantage of the unique benefits of its technology, namely its compactness, the ability to control the phase of the light, the energy efficiency, all implemented with low insertion losses and advanced integration schemes. It brings integrated photonics into a new era characterized by the introduction of innovative materials. Adding functionalities in integrated photonics, it also aims to explore novel applications of its augmented PIC, for example for sensing or space applications. It has been created by former employees of the IBM Research Europe, the European branch of IBM Research. In the last 10 years, they pioneered this research field and developed it to a level of maturity that can be exploited today by Lumiphase. The company has setup an ambitious development plan, using first the IBM infrastructure, through the development of its own materials and device technology. In this framework, the involvement of Lumiphase in the European R&D network is essential for the development of the company. It will be facilitated by the long experience of the Lumiphase’s key personal in many EU projects, from FP5 to H2020 framework, as well as for ECSEL initiatives.


Dr. Jean Fompeyrine This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PlasmoniAC project is an initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership and has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 871391.
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