Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

+39 011 090 6100 info@tech-share.it

Method and system for optical delay

Informatica Tsd En


The invention describes an integrated optical device programmable to delay in a controlled way the propagation of an optical signal. Suitable actuators allow to control the time delay of the optical signal continuously and over a wide interval. The device has typical uses in the field of microwave photonics, where microwave functions are implemented in the optical domain.

Technical features

The invention is particularly suitable for use in BFN (Beam Forming Network) of 5G array antennas with many radiant elements for beam steering, multibeam forming, phase front equalization, etc. (smart antennae). Technical features include integrated photonics, silicon photonics, indium phosphate, thin-film lithium niobate, and silicon nitride. In addition, it uses passive technology platforms with actuators and active with photodiodes and modulators (and lasers). Compared to the solutions available on the market, the invention does not require physical variations in the length of the path made by the light, has wider operating bands, does not use on/off switches, and allows multiple stages without penalties on the operating band.

Possible Applications

  • OBFN for multi-element 5G array steering;
  • Multi-beam forming;
  • Phase front equalization etc, (smart antennas);
  • Synchronization of signals;
  • Sensors.


  • No moving parts;
  • Possibility of integrating the delay line with other functions;
  • Greater stability and ease of control of the system;
  • Operational bands much wider than existing solutions;
  • Variation of the delay with continuity.