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19 March 2013

Silicon photonics firm Kotura establishes fabless semiconductor model and strengthens component supply chain

At the Optical Fiber Communication/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC 2013) in Anaheim (17-21 March), Kotura Inc of Monterey Park, CA, USA, which designs and makes silicon photonics application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for the communications, computing, sensing and detection markets, has announced an agreement with a large semiconductor foundry as well as relationships with strategic partners Mindspeed Technologies Inc of Newport Beach, CA, USA (which designs network infrastructure semiconductors for communications applications) and BinOptics Corp of Ithaca, NY, USA (which makes semiconductor lasers and monolithically integrated optoelectronic components). Kotura says the partnerships will provide it with an effective supply chain to commercialize its 100G Optical Engine - a key component in its industry-first 100Gb/s 4x25 WDM QSFP module (announced at OFC).

Kotura says that the addition of a large Japanese foundry complements its existing in-house fab. The firm will leverage the foundry partner’s capabilities for high-volume production of its Optical Engine - a low-power, integrated 100Gb/s chip solution that supports the interconnect fabric for next-generation data-centers and high-performance computing. Kotura claims to be the only silicon photonics provider to offer both wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) and a parallel version of its Optical Engine in a 3.5 watt QSFP package.

“Our silicon photonics solutions resolve price, performance and reliability issues not currently being addressed by existing approaches,” reckons president & CEO Jean-Louis Malinge. “In a world full of applications with pressing bandwidth and performance needs, there is tremendous opportunity for silicon photonics to heed the call, starting with the data-center market as our primary target,” he adds. “This foundry partnership offers Kotura the fastest and most reliable path to mass production and the ability to scale to meet this demand.”

The partnership with Mindspeed enables Kotura to meet the low-power requirements of the QSFP package. “The market wants a QSFP package because of the small footprint,” notes Marek Tlalka, Mindspeed’s director of product marketing. “Integrating 25G quad drivers and TIAs can be quite a challenge,” he adds. “By combining our high-speed, low-power electronics and Kotura’s silicon photonics Optical Engine, we can meet the stringent power consumption constraints of a 100Gb/s WDM QSFP module.”

Kotura partnered with BinOptics to develop laser arrays, which can be passively flip-chip bonded onto Kotura’s Optical Engine, producing a high-volume, low-cost, electronics-style assembly.

“BinOptics’ Etched Facet Technology allows III-V photonic device facets to be formed with lithographic precision, enabling low-cost passive alignment with silicon photonics,” says BinOptics’ CEO & co-founder Dr Alex Behfar. “Eliminating active alignment is one of the key ingredients for economical, large-scale roll-out of silicon photonics-based 100Gb/s solutions.”

At OFC, the chips for the Optical Engine are on display at Kotura’s booth 3618, while a demonstration of the Optical Engine is being shown privately.

Tags: Kotura silicon photonics BinOptics Mindspeed




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