News Article

Intel Integrates Multi-Bragg Reflector With Silicon Chip

Intel demonstrated its transmitter chip comprised of four distributed Bragg reflector lasers integrated directly into silicon waveguides using novel wafer-bonding concepts pioneered at UCSB.

Intel presented groundbreaking research at the topical meeting of the Optical Society (OSA),Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano Photonics (IPR). IPR was held at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California, last week.

During a special keynote presentation Justin Rattner, Intel Chief Technology Officer and director of Intel Labs, demonstrated its 50Gbps Silicon Photonics Link prototype which is the world's first silicon-based optical data connection with integrated lasers. The transmitter chip is comprised of four distributed Bragg reflector lasers integrated directly into silicon waveguides using the novel wafer-bonding concepts pioneered at UC Santa Barbara. 

Each laser is independently modulated with a silicon-photonic Mach-Zehnder modulator at 12.5 Gbs and the four streams are combined with a monolithic wavelength multiplexer into a single fiber output.  At the other end of the link, a monolithic wavelength demultiplexer on the receiver chip separates the four optical beams and directs them into integrated photodetectors, which convert data back into electrical signals.

The link is said to move data over longer distances than electrical solutions at speeds of up to 50 gigabits of data per second. A paper describing Intel’s research can be found vi the following link:

“This is an exciting example of the groundbreaking research being presented at OSA’s conferences, in particular at IPR," said Tom Koch, IPR program Co-chair and OSA board member. “We are pleased that Intel chose IPR to make such a pivotal demonstration and it certainly reinforces the belief we share that silicon photonics and photonic integration have extraordinary potential for impacting our future."

IPR is one of the most consolidated conferences in the field as it has run with no interruptions since 1972. This year the conference changed its name to Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano Photonics to highlight the presence of two ubiquitous ingredients, silicon and nano, in integrated photonic devices.

IPR covers all aspects of research in integrated photonics and nanophotonics, featuring innovative science and engineering results. Topics include active and compound semiconductor devices, dielectric waveguides and waveguide devices, modeling and numerical simulation, integrated diffractive optics, microphotonics, and the generation, detection, and transport of optical fields on the "nanoscale."

Application areas within the scope of the meeting include telecommunications, information technology, optical computing, optical storage, displays, environmental monitoring, biomedical science and instrumentation, and quantum information processing and communication.
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