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POET GaAs based laser reaches a new milestone

The gallium arsenide laser is claimed to take Moore's law to the next level
POET has achieved continuous-wave (cw) operation of its thyristor laser within its proprietary planar optoelectronic technology (POET) platform for monolithic fabrication of integrated electronic and optical devices on a single semiconductor wafer.

The company is also reporting significant progress on several other initiatives on its technical roadmap.

The firm has achieved the MS-5 milestone - the operation of its switching laser within the POET platform. This achievement has implications for on-chip and optical communications applications.

POET says this single demonstration is a big leap forward for an integrated circuit industry looking for ways to push complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes past some challenging technical barriers.

Peter Copetti, Executive Chairman and interim CEO, notes,“This is the most definitive step yet in our drive to enhance POET’s electronic and optical monolithic capability, beyond CMOS and silicon photonics.”

Copetti adds, “While timeline variations are always to be expected for a company in development mode, our belief in Geoff Taylor and his team has never wavered. We would like to thank the entire technical team for its hard work and dedication.”

Specifically, excellent switching operation was achieved with a laser threshold of 1-mA, just above a thyristor holding current of 0.5-mA, for a 10-micron diameter laser device, exhibiting a suppression ratio of 50 dB.

This enables optical short reach applications found in data-centre,server farms and high performance computing, thereby lowering system solution cost when compared to silicon photonics.

Facility Upgrades

In accordance with its planned maintenance scheduled for the POET facility, the company has completed its most recent wafer growth cycle.

In association with this, POET is upgrading its MBE system to make critical additions and replenish source materials.

One addition is a high-volume indium source to enable metamorphic growth on a GaAs substrate of the POET epitaxy with a wavelength of 1550nm.

This is expected to enable the production of long-wavelength lasers combined with high In-content field-effect transistor (FET) channels for superior high-speed transistor performance.

The company has previously announced that it realized submicron device operation from an initial 800-nm down to 200nm.

POET is trying to move towards the goal of 100nm feature sizes for the transistors within the POET platform, and has stabilised feature definition at the sub-200-nm level.

Short channel considerations are being addressed with new innovations,and the step of isolating source-drain and gate contacts with oxygen implantation is nearing completion.

III-V foundry capabilities hope to demonstrate greater than 20x speed improvement together with lower power consumption by 4x to 10x, depending on the application, compared to silicon at smaller nodes.

Although timelines are always subject to review depending on partner needs, the technical team sees no significant technical roadblocks ahead. POET anticipates completion of the 100 nm milestone by the end of April 2014.

Trying to optimise device parameters and yields, the company is focusing on establishing POET’s technology design kits (TDKs). The TDKs comprise a comprehensive design rules and device parameter library for POET, and will enable customers and partners to implement the POET process into preferred foundries.

The TDKs will also help licensed designs in a POET device ecosystem to proliferate and help existing silicon library functions to migrate to POET technology-based circuitry in a minimum amount of time.

The company is reporting that with the help of select potential POET Development Alliance (PDA) partners, progress on this milestone is ahead of the schedule set by the former Special Strategic Committee.

Copetti notes, “It is gratifying to see our excitement shared by others, and we hope that excitement will be infectious as we head into the Global Semiconductor Forum. We have a relentless focus on securing our intellectual property and in forging ties to industry, and this positions POET Technologies in its drive to extend Moore’s Law to the next level.”

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