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ST, Luxtera to expand silicon photonics market

Posted: 05 Mar 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon photonics? CMOS? SoC?

STMicroelectronics N.V. and Luxtera Inc. have entered a deal that according to companies would allow them to bring to the market their mutually-developed solutions for silicon photonics components and systems. The collaboration involves advancing Luxtera's IP and knowledge in silicon photonics at ST's 300mm fab in Crolles, France.

Silicon photonics is regarded as a key enabler of future very high-speed computing and communications applications such as optical networking, CPU interconnect and data storage, as they scale to multi-terabit connectivity. The technology allows high-speed optical communications devices to be built using low-cost silicon manufacturing technology, rather than more expensive compound semiconductor materials containing gallium or indium, noted the companies.

"The powerful synergy of this partnership, derived from the complementary strengths of two technology and industry leaders, represents a tremendous breakthrough. This will bring silicon photonics into the mainstream of important technologies such as optical networking, ultra-fast computer processors and other applications via the commercial volume availability of a best-in-class silicon photonics IP platform," stated Flavio Benetti, GM of mixed process division at ST.

With this collaboration, ST has been granted the rights to use Luxtera's silicon photonics technology that will be implemented in the new ST photonics process and its future generations. ST will provide Luxtera with a reliable, scalable and cost-effective supply chain, allowing Luxtera to satisfy its growing market in terms of volume and quality requirements.

The 300mm silicon photonics platform being developed by ST will offer scalability of low-cost transceivers for data rates of 100Gb, 400Gb and upwards; ultra-high-density interconnect with the lowest power consumption; and support for 1310nm, 1490nm and 1550nm wavelengths.

"Luxtera has found a broad market opportunity for silicon photonics that requires an expanded supply chain and continued technology advancement. We can now offer our customers a high-volume, capable source of supply and an aggressive long-term photonic process technology roadmap. This will advance our base technology and enable the integration of optical transceivers with SoCs from advanced CMOS nodes to deliver photonic-enabled SoCs for large scale systems. In turn, ST can now offer customers the world's leading optical IP as the two companies expand the silicon photonics ecosystem," indicated Greg Young, president and CEO of Luxtera.

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