By Jeff Dorsch
Six speakers discussed developments in designing and manufacturing silicon photonics devices in a TechXPOT North session on Wednesday morning.
IBM’s Jean Trewhella said her company has been working on optical interconnect for a long time, and “we’re moving the technology into our Burlington fab.” In developing a “flexible platform” for silicon photonics, IBM is shooting for bringing the cost down to 2.5 cents per gigabit per second, she noted.
IBM designed built-in self-test into its silicon photonics devices, so it could do wafer-level test on the chips, Trewhella said. Fabrication was slotted at Burlington, Vt.’s 200-millimeter wafer fabrication facility in the interest of containing costs. Dimensions on the chip fell into the range of 90 nanometers down to 65nm, according to Trewhella. “There is no additional cost benefit from scaling photonic components,” she said.
Working with IBM in silicon photonics is Aurrion, a startup based in Santa Barbara, Calif. Eric Hall, the company’s vice president of business development, said Aurrion is integrating III-V semiconductors atop silicon waveguides to develop large wavelength-division multiplexing arrays. Indium phosphide and silicon chips are being employed in its products, along with indium-gallium-arsenide absorbers in its photodiodes.
“Integrating on silicon allows photonics to leverage the cost/volume/yield of established fabrication and packaging infrastructure,” Hall said. He added, “Aurrion is hiring!”
The session also heard from Jack Cunningham of Oracle, Shuki Benjamin of Compass-EOS, Peter De Dobbelaere of Luxtera, and Hughes Metras of CEA-Leti.