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Tower and Teramount connect multi-optical fibers to silicon chips…

22 Mar 2023

…and Tower claims first integration of quantum-dot lasers on its SiPho foundry platform.

Tower Semiconductor, an Israeli company that manufactures integrated circuits for sensing and communications, using silicon photonics and other semiconductor combinations, and Teramount, which specializes in connecting optical fibers to silicon chips, have announced a collaboration based on Tower’s SiPho Bump-ready wafers and Teramount’s PhotonicPlug technology.

Bump-ready wafers combine Tower’s PH18 silicon photonic technology with features that allow the simultaneous connection of a large number of fibers to the chip – significantly simplifying assembly into a final high-speed data transport solution for datacenters and telecom networks, as well as emerging applications in AI and sensing.

Tower has manufactured Bump-ready wafers which when integrated with Teramount’s connectors solve what the partners call a “key bottleneck” in the wider use of silicon photonics.

Hesham Taha, CEO of Teramount, commented, “By offering this capability to the industry, Teramount solves one of the major hurdles to further adopt optical connectivity for many applications that require high-speed data transfers.”

Dr. Ed Preisler, Director of Technology Development at Tower, said, “This feature is a powerful addition to Tower’s comprehensive portfolio of photonics technologies, which include our high-volume PH18 platform, and our unique heterogeneously integrated III-V technologies.”

Tower integrates quantum-dot lasers on its SiPho platform

In another collaboration, Tower and Quintessent, which develops optical connectivity solutions to scale computing and AI applications, have announced the first heterogeneous integration of gallium arsenide quantum dot lasers and a foundry silicon photonics platform – Tower’s PH18DB.

The PH18DB platform is designed for optical transceiver modules in datacenters and telecom networks, AI, machine learning, lidar and other sensors. According to the market research firm LightCounting, the silicon photonics transceiver market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24% reaching a total addressable market of $9 billion in 2025.

The new PH18DB platform offers GaAs-based QD lasers and a semiconductor optical amplifier based on Tower’s PH18M silicon photonics foundry technology. This platform will enable dense photonic integrated circuits that can support higher channel count in a small form factor.

Tower stated, “Open foundry availability of this 220nm SOI platform will provide access to a broad array of product development teams, to simplify their PIC design through use of laser and SOA pcells.”

Initial process design kits for PH18DB have been made available in partnership with DARPA under the Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) program, intended to bring high-performance lasers to advanced photonics platforms for commercial and defense applications. Tower added that multi-project wafers are planned for 2023 and 2024.

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