Silicon Photonics and Hybrid Silicon Laser Technology

Ranju Venables, Intel Corporation

Intel’s Silicon Photonics (SiPh) platform combines two significant technical achievements of the 20th century—CMOS processing and the semiconductor laser.  SiPh provides a disruptive approach to design and build high speed optical transceivers for datacom and other applications with the potential of lower cost and higher scalability than traditional discrete or III-V monolithic approaches.  The high refractive index of silicon allows for low loss optical waveguides with small radius of curvature, enabling integration of wavelength multiplexers, multi-mode interference couplers, tap couplers, Bragg gratings and other optical functionalities used in photonic integrated circuits (PICs).  The ability to leverage well established equipment and processes used in the microelectronics industry allows for the mass-production of photonic chips with tight process control, high yield, integration, and wafer-level testing which may be difficult to achieve in traditional compound semiconductor (III-V) optoelectronic semiconductor foundries.

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