Nanoelec Research Technological Institute (IRT) in Grenoble, France - an R&D consortium headed by CEA-Leti focused on information and communication technologies (ICT) - has announced the first co-integration of a III-V/silicon laser and silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator demonstrating 25Gbps transmission on a single channel. This transmission rate usually is achieved using an external source, over a 10km single-mode fiber (SMF).
Existing interconnect technologies, which use micro-optics integration to assemble a discrete laser and a silicon photonic circuit, will soon reach their limits and new solutions must be found to handle increasing traffic.
Integrating photonics capabilities on silicon chips is replacing currently established technologies, vastly increasing bandwidth, density and reliability, while dramatically reducing energy consumption. In the age of photonics-on-silicon, data transmission will be measured in terabits per second.
"Jointly obtained by STMicroelectronics and Leti in the frame of the IRT Nanoelec cooperation, these results - especially fabricating the laser directly on silicon - demonstrate IRT Nanoelec's worldwide leadership in III/V-on-silicon integration to achieve high-data-rate fiber-optic modules," says project manager Stéphane Bernabé. "IRT Nanoelec and its partners on this project - Leti, STMicroelectronics, Samtec and Mentor Graphics - are paving the way to integrating this technology in next-generation transceivers for optical data links," he adds.
To achieve the recent results, silicon photonics circuits integrating the modulator were processed first on a 200mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer, although 300mm wafers also could be used in the near future. Then, a 2-inch wafer of III-V material was directly bonded on the wafer. In the third step, the hybrid wafer was processed using conventional semiconductor and/or MEMS process steps to produce an integrated modulator-and-laser transmitter.
AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!
AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST)
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Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.
2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.
We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.
We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.
Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.
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