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Imec demonstrates 28G Si-photonics platform for WDM interconnects

29 Jul 2014

Shown at July's Integrated Photonics Research meet in San Diego; Belgian R&D center's next fab-runs in fall 2014 now open for registration.

At this month’s Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon & Nanophotonics Conference, in San Diego, Ca, USA, imec demonstrated improved performance of key building blocks to enable high-density, low-power wavelength-division multiplexing in silicon optical interconnects.

The achievement by the nanoelectronics research center, which is based in Leuven, Belgium, represents “an important milestone” for imec’s fully-integrated silicon photonics platform known as iSiPP25G on the route to high-performance optical transceivers, extending speed performance towards 28Gbit/s and beyond.


imec has demonstrated, at wafer-scale, a ring-based WDM filter with an improved thermo-optic tuning efficiency better than 1nm/mW per channel, a thermally tunable 28Gbit/s ring modulator with an efficiency of 260pm/mW and a high-speed germanium photodetector achieving an average responsitivity of 0.85A/W, and opto-electrical bandwidth of 50GHz with dark currents at –1.0V below 50nA.

These devices are all integrated on imec’s iSiPP25G platform and extend the research center’s silicon photonics portfolio, which also includes low-loss (<2.5dB/cm) strip waveguides, highly efficient grating couplers (2.5dB insertion loss), and 25Gbit/s Mach-Zehnder modulators.

Philippe Absil, program director at imec, commented, “Our silicon photonics platform provides 28Gbit/s performance for integrated photonics circuits for telecom and datacom industries. Companies can benefit from our silicon photonics capabilities through established standard cells, or explore the functionality of their own designs in Multi-Project Wafer runs. Through our MPW offer, fabless R&D teams can access a cost-efficient silicon photonics solution, with state-of-the-art performance, design flexibility and superior CD and thickness control.”

imec is offering this platform for silicon photonics via ePIXfab, supported by Ghent University, Europractice IC service and MOSIS, a provider of low-cost prototyping and small volume production services for custom ICs. The next passive run is now open for registration (deadline is September 15, 2014) with first wafers due out in January 2015. imec’s third active ISIPP25G run is also open for registration (deadline is November 10).

About the Author

Matthew Peach is contributing editor to optics.org.

AlluxaFirst Light ImagingMad City Labs, Inc.ABTechHÜBNER PhotonicsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationIridian Spectral Technologies
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