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Silicon photonics specialists join forces to progress technology

08 May 2013

MOSIS collaborates with imec, Tyndall and ePIXfab to offer customers advanced design and prototyping services.

MOSIS, Marina del Rey, CA, US, a developer of low-cost prototyping and small volume production services for custom ICs, has teamed up with ePIXfab, Ghent, Belgium, the European Silicon Photonics support center, which provides low-cost prototyping services for photonic ICs.

The partnership also gives MOSIS's customers access to imec’s (Leuven, Belgium) state-of-the-art fully integrated silicon photonics processes and Tyndall’s (Cork, Ireland) advanced silicon photonics packaging technology.

Imec’s silicon photonics platform enables cost-effective R&D of silicon photonic ICs for high-performance optical transceivers (25Gbit/s and beyond) for telecom, datacom, and optical sensing for life science applications. The integrated components on offer include low-loss waveguides, efficient grating couplers, high-speed silicon electro-optic modulators and high-speed germanium waveguide photo-detectors. A comprehensive design kit to access imec technologies will also be provided.

Packaged devices

Moreover, the Tyndall National Institute, being a partner of ePIXfab, offers the ability to provide packaged silicon photonics devices. This includes the design and fabrication of custom photonic packages, fiber coupling (singly and in arrays) and electrical interconnects. Design rules to support these packaging capabilities will also be provided.

Philippe Absil, program director at imec, commented, "Companies can benefit from imec's silicon photonics capabilities through established standard cells, or explore the functionality of their own designs in multi-project wafer runs." Wes Hansford, MOSIS Director, added, “With this collaboration MOSIS will offer its first access to a mature silicon photonics infrastructure, with the option for follow on production."

The first ePIXfab Europractice run for passive silicon photonics ICs will be open for registration from June 2013 with design deadline September 9th 2013. MOSIS' customers can register for this run and obtain the design kit via MOSIS in June 2013.
Imec’s silicon photonics 200mm wafer platform offers extensive design flexibility and includes the following features:

Tight within-wafer silicon thickness variation 3sigma < 2.5nm

3-level patterning of 220nm top Si layer (193nm optical lithography)

Poly-Si overlay and patterning (193nm optical lithography)

3-level n-type implants and 3-level p-type implants in Si

Ge epitaxial growth on Si and p-type and n-type implants in Ge

Local NiSi contacts, Tungsten vias and Cu metal interconnects

Aluminum bond pads

Validated cell library with fiber couplers and polarization rotators

Design kit support for IPKISS framework, PhoeniX Software and Mentor Graphics software

Tyndall’s silicon photonics packaging technology enables: passive device packaging, single and multi-fiber arrays to grating couplers, active device packaging, modulators and detectors with electrical ports and fiber arrays, and custom packaging requirements (mechanical and thermal stability).

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor tooptics.org.

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