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CompoundTek opens SE Asia’s first silicon photonics test hub

30 Jan 2020

Singapore center offers a range of capabilities in niche optical-semiconductor technology testing.

Announcing the launch of its maiden silicon photonics test facility, believed to be Southeast Asia’s first-of-its-kind site, CompoundTek, a global foundry services provider in emerging silicon photonics (SiPh) solutions is offering production and engineering test services accessible to commercial industry players. The testing service is independent of CompoundTek’s foundry services, enabling non-CompoundTek customers the opportunity to leverage the open-testing platform.

Housing SiPh on-wafer testing and cutting-edge equipment, instrument controls and test methodologies, the facility has been custom-built by CompoundTek and partners. The hub caters to the development of solutions that revolutionises data-transmission capabilities sought after in data centers, interconnectivity, Lidar, smart sensors and other applications.

The test facility, established at CompoundTek’s Jurong East International Business Park office in Singapore, is staffed by a resident SiPh test team, bringing into the technology ecosystem proven talents with international expertise in both manual and automatic silicon photonics testing on either 8in or 12in wafers.

The cleanroom is accredited as class 1000/10000 with its equipment designed to achieve fast and reproducible optical coupling, including 6-axis probe-position optimisation and polarisation alignment; wafer probing for conventional DC and RF electrical testing in the optical domain, and is capable of supporting both O and C-band technologies. The facility will also enable the testing of electro-optical components up to 67GHz and is suited for electro-optical components for 400Gbit/s data rates and above.

CompoundTek’s Chief Operating Officer, K.S. Ang, explained, ”With added on-wafer level automated SiPh Optical/Electrical/RF testing facility, our customers will be able to limit packaging costs to good dies only and avoid module packaging level testing turn-around time losses.

”This complements our rapidly growing solutions portfolio designed to drive mass production volume with fast cycle-time. Offered alongside our world-class commercial foundry capabilities, we can accelerate customers’ time-to-market to subsequently meet their commercialisation goals."

Diverse technologies

CompoundTek is confident that silicon photonics "continues to be the leading technology enabler in data communications making faster interconnect solutions with higher-density optical connectivity for 100GbE, 400GbE, and beyond."

The company states on its website: SiPh demand today comes from data centers that require solutions that can move data faster and more efficiently including fibre-to-the-home as more functionality will be needed such as wavelength tuning and switching. Other applications include biomedical sensing, LIDAR, and those in the aerospace and aeronautic industry."

The company says it enables companies to fabricate their silicon PICs. Its advanced solutions enable development of all the key silicon photonics basic building blocks for multi project wafers and full reticle fabrication run of passive and full photonics integrated circuits with active and passive components.

These include Si and SiN waveguides; Si photonics crystal with gratings; TiN heater and ion implantation doped heater; six different ion implantations (N, N+, N++, P, P+, and P++ ); germanium photodetectors (lateral, vertical NIP and vertical PIN); two Cu BEOL metal layers with W contact Si-contact/Ge-contact and Al bondpad top metal OR Two Al thick first metal BEOL with CMP and W filled via deep trench dry etching (thick oxide and deep trench Si); and oxide cladding dry etching.

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