Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 9 | 27. Januar 2021

Priority Programme “Electronic-Photonic Integrated Systems for Ultrafast Signal Processing” (SPP 2111)

In 2017, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Electronic-Photonic Integrated Systems for Ultrafast Signal Processing” (SPP 2111). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Research Goals

Electronic-photonic signal processing using photonic integration technologies has the potential to overcome fundamental limitations of purely electronic signal processing. Two major limitations of purely electronic signal processing are the electronic bandwidth bottleneck and the electronic jitter bottleneck as described in the call for proposals for the first phase of this Priority Programme. The focus of the overall programme is to investigate how combined electronic-photonic systems using the huge optical bandwidth and nanophotonic/nanoelectronic integration technologies can be used to disrupt the current bandwidth and jitter limitations of purely electronic respectively conventional electronic-photonic systems by orders of magnitude. While in the call for proposals of the first phase three core areas where addressed (ultra-broadband electronic-photonic systems, low-jitter electronic-photonic systems and optical/THz sensor systems) the research in the second phase shall be focused mainly on ultra-broadband and low-jitter systems. Furthermore, for projects from the first phase which investigated electronic-photonic systems from a theoretical perspective must demonstrate their research using photonic rsp. electronic-photonic integration technologies such as silicon photonics, SiN, InP technologies etc.

Research Programme

Project proposals should address the following two core areas:

  • integrated systems for ultra-broadband electronic-photonic signal processing targeting bandwidth far beyond state-of-the-art electronic bandwidth, for example
    • signal processing techniques allowing for more than 0.5 THz contiguous bandwidth per optical or electronic carrier
    • novel ultra-broadband electronic-photonic pulse shapers / modulators for ultra-broadband transmitters
    • novel ultra-broadband electronic-photonic receivers
    • advanced system concepts and algorithms making use of ultra-broadband signal processing
    • ultra-broadband sensors using microwave photonic techniques targeting for high bandwidth
  • integrated systems for low-jitter electronic-photonic signal generation and processing targeting RMS jitter well below electronic jitter, for example
    • opto-electronic samplers and opto-electronic analog-to-digital-converters
    • photonics-assisted frequency synthesis targeting extreme low jitter
    • chip-scale low-phase-noise mode-locked lasers and wavelength stabilisation techniques
    • electronic-photonic DACs and waveform generators with high bandwidth and low jitter

This Priority Programme shall foster interdisciplinary research in the areas of electronic-photonic circuit and system design, communication technology, networks, computing, sensors etc. based on existing nanophotonic/nanoelectronic integration technology. Therefore, the proposals should not focus on semiconductor device or semiconductor technology research but rather on novel circuits, system architectures, and signal processing algorithms and should match one of the two core areas.

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 12 April 2021. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 29 March 2021 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2111” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. In addition to submitting your proposal via elan, please send an electronic copy to the programme coordinator.

With the submission of a proposal within this programme, the applicants agree that DFG shares all necessary information with the coordinator of the Priority Programme after the call deadline.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Professor Dr. Christoph Scheytt
    Universität Paderborn
    Heinz Nixdorf Institut
    Fachgruppe Schaltungstechnik
    Warburger Str. 100
    33098 Paderborn
    phone +49 5251 606350

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Administrative contact: