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Team-up focuses on photonic chips

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon photonics? commercial fabrication? photonics developer?

Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Institute of Microelectronics (IME), is planning to commercialize key innovations in silicon chips that it developed as part of its Silicon Photonics research platform. The chips are designed to support high speed, high bandwidth optical communications.

Through a strategic collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories, they were able to further enhancements to the chip. Working with a global semiconductor foundry, Globalfoundries, IME and Alcatel-Lucent plan to bring innovative silicon component designs from research to commercial fabrication readiness within the next few years.

These scalable and cost-effective silicon building blocks will be made accessible to photonics developers to create new products and propagate the benefits of dramatically increased data rate and processing power, at a reduced cost to the industry.

The collaboration leverages Bell Labs' extensive design experience and leading-edge research capability with the development expertise of IME to create a library of silicon photonics devices with the requisite process control monitors (PCMs) and process design kits (PDKs). These photonic devices, ranging from next-generation high-speed optical modulators, germanium photo-detectors, waveguides and other common photonic circuits found in networking equipment will be offered as a result of this collaboration.

"This milestone reflects the rapidly growing commercial significance of silicon photonics," cited Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of IME. "IME will continue to enhance our Silicon Photonics technology platform and work with our strategic partners to bring the benefits of silicon photonics to the industry worldwide."

"I'm delighted that IME and Globalfoundries are working with Bell Labs to accelerate the development of the exciting silicon photonics technology, which holds such promise for use in communication systems," said, Alice White, chief scientist at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. "Bell Labs has been actively engaging leading microelectronics research institutes in silicon photonics researchit is exciting to see these efforts moving forward into the commercial realm."

"Globalfoundries is excited to partner with IME to deliver photonics solutions to customers such as Alcatel-Lucent. Through innovative design kits and advanced materials fabrication techniques, the Globalfoundries-IME team intends to expand the photonics design and manufacturing portfolio to our existing and future customers who are looking for reliable high-volume manufacturing service," said Raj Kumar, SVP for Globalfoundries' 200mm business unit and GM for Singapore.

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