Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics and leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. 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 has been 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 projects (Phoxtrot and Spirit), and continuing the frame of H2020 (Flex5Gware, Teraboard, Streams, WIPE, Optima and 5GPHOS). In Nov. 2014, the Design group was awarded the 3rd biannual Greentouch 1000x award together with Bell Labs/Alcatel-Lucent and Orange Labs.

Expertise and tasks in PICTURE

IMEC IDLab-Design group has a proven track record with successful development and demonstrations of advanced electronics and PICs ( The linear driver and TIA designs build further on our recent and ongoing developments of high-speed (segmented) MZM drivers, ring modulator/VCSEL/EAM drivers, and linear TIAs in the framework of various FP7 and H2020 projects.

In PICTURE, IMEC is mainly responsible for developing low-power linear III-V/Si hybrid modulator driver and linear trans-impedance amplifier arrays for coherent transceiver PICs. Moreover, IMEC will use their expertise in high-speed/MW/RF to contribute to new travelling-wave electrode III-V/Si hybrid modulator designs in WP2.

Infrastructure, projects and activities connected to PICTURE

  • FP7 SPIRIT ( SPIRIT develops Terabit coherent optical transport networks. In Spirit, the main contribution from Imec-IDLab is the design and prototyping of flexible CMOS IQ modulator driver electronics which are closely integrated and co-designed with a segmented MZM from Fraunhofer HHI.
  • H2020 STREAMS ( STREAMS develops Silicon Photonics Transceiver and Routing technologies for a WDM-based, Tb/s, optical on-board interconnection system towards exa-scale computing systems. The main contribution from imec-IDLab is the design and prototyping of 50Gb/s electro-absorption modulator driver arrays and 50Gb/s TIA arrays with low-power consumption.
  • H2020 TERABOARD ( TERABOARD develops a combination of ultra-low-power high-bandwidth-density data communications designed  for the server and packet-processing boards of datacenters. The main contribution from imec-IDLab is the design and prototyping of 56Gb/s ring modulator driver arrays and 56Gb/s TIA arrays with low-power consumption.

Imec commits its well-equipped test lab with >50Gb/s pattern generator and error detector, FPGA-based bit-error rate characterization up to 100Gb/s, non-linear network analysis up to 67GHz for 4-port devices, sampling oscilloscopes (up to 70GHz), and 4-channel 92GS/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator and 160GS/s Real-Time Oscilloscope. Imec-IDLab-Design can rely on extensive experience in the field, a faradized 160m2 test laboratory and a wide range of advanced software and chip design kits, also including tools for the detailed simulation of 3D electromagnetic fields, interconnection parasitics, and the detailed behaviour of high-speed circuits supported by a powerful computing environment.

The scientists will be primarily responsible for carrying out research and innovation activities.

Prof. Xin (Scott) Yin received the Ph.D. degree in applied sciences, electronics from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium in 2009. He has been a research assistant in the IMEC/INTEC Design laboratory, Ghent University since 2003 and since 2013 he is also a professor with Ghent University. He is active in European and international projects such as DISCUS, Phoxtrot, Mirage, GreenTouch, Spirit, Teraboard, Streams and WIPE. His current research interests include high-speed opto-electronic circuits and subsystems, with emphasis on burst-mode receivers, clock and data recovery and electronic dispersion compensation for optical access networks, and low-power mixed-signal integrated circuit design for telecom/Datacom/5G/IoT applications. In 2014, he led a team including researchers from imec, Bell Labs USA/Alcatel-Lucent and Orange Labs, which won the GreenTouch 1000x award in recognition of the invention of the Bi-PON protocol and sustained leadership. He is a member of the ECOC technical program committee (TPC) since 2015.

Prof. Johan Bauwelinck received a Ph.D. degree in applied sciences, electronics from Ghent University, Belgium in 2005. Since Oct. 2009 he is a professor in the IDLab research group of the department of Information Technology (INTEC) at the same university where he is leading the Design lab since 2014. He became a guest professor at iMinds in the same year, now imec since 2016. His research focuses on high-speed, high-frequency (opto-) electronic circuits and systems, and their applications on chip and board level, including transmitter and receiver analog front-ends for wireless, wired and fiber-optic communication or instrumentation systems. He was and is active in the EU-funded projects GIANT, POWERNET, PIEMAN, EuroFOS, C3-PO, Mirage, Phoxtrot, Spirit, Flex5Gware, Teraboard, Streams, WIPE and Optima conducting research on advanced electronic integrated circuits for next generation transport, metro, access, datacenter and radio-over-fiber networks. He has promoted 18 PhDs and co-authored more than 200 publications and 10 patents in the field of high-speed electronics and fiber-optic communication.

Main Contact

Prof. dr. ir. Xin (Scott) Yin

IMEC - Ghent University

Technologiepark 15

9052 Gent-Zwijnaarde, Belgium

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Tel: +32 9 264 33 36



Project Support

III-V Labs
Campus de Polytechnique
1, avenue Augustin Fresnel
F-91767 Palaiseau Cedex
Phone : + 33 1 69 41 55 00
Arnaud Wilk

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