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13 March 2013

OneChip forms foundry relationships with both IQE and GCS

OneChip Photonics Inc of Ottawa, Canada, which designs optical chips and transceivers based on monolithic photonic integrated circuits (PICs) fabricated in indium phosphide (InP), says that it is working with both pure-play epiwafer foundry IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK (to grow epitaxial structures) and with pure-play compound semiconductor wafer foundry Global Communication Semiconductors LLC (GCS) of Torrance, CA, USA (to provide a complete range of InP wafer processing services), enabling the production of OneChip’s PICs for the data-center interconnect (DCI) and passive optical network (PON) markets.

OneChip says that its unique, regrowth-free Multi-Guide Vertical Integration (MGVI) platform eliminates the need for multiple epitaxial growth steps, enabling it to decouple epitaxial growth and wafer processing while outsourcing both functions to independent, pure-play commercial foundries.

Under this fabless model, OneChip has been working with IQE for the production of its 4-inch InP-based epiwafers, leveraging the infrastructure and expertise that IQE has gained over 25 years in supporting the semiconductor industry with its outsourcing model. OneChip has also been working with GCS to process its OneChip-designed 4-inch InP-based wafers, leveraging the infrastructure and expertise that GCS has gained through serving high-volume radio frequency (RF) electronics markets.

“The iron-doped, semi-insulating 4-inch InP substrates, and the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth technique, required for OneChip’s epiwafers, are the same as those used by IQE for its high-volume epitaxy products, so we have strong economies of scale in working together,” says OneChip’s founder & chief technology officer Valery Tolstikhin. As an independent, pure-play epiwafer foundry, IQE fits into OneChip’s fabless PIC manufacturing model, he adds.

“OneChip has developed some exciting new integrated photonics products for the high-volume but cost-sensitive, optical communications markets,” says IQE’s president & CEO Drew Nelson. “OneChip’s use of the fabless manufacturing approach further endorses IQE’s outsourcing business model in the field of photonic devices, and we look forward to helping OneChip continue to scale its business as it extends its unique PIC technology to new markets,” he adds.

OneChip says that GCS’ foundry services, based on its opto and heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) processes in InP, are a match for OneChip’s fabless model. Further, GCS’ opto and HBT and OneChip’s PIC technologies share the same process and provide a unique opto-electronic integrated circuit (OEIC) platform, enabling - for the first time, it is claimed - both electronic and photonic integration on one substrate, within the same commercially available fabrication process.

GCS offers InP and high-volume RF electronics processing technologies, notes Tolstikhin. “Working with GCS gives us the commercial, high-volume processing capability we need to meet the strict cost requirements of the DCI and PON markets,” he adds.

“Our InP-based opto and RFIC process technologies have great synergies with OneChip’s PIC technology,” reckons GCS’ CEO Brian Ann. “We believe OneChip is a company that can create a truly volume business for photonics in the DCI market, with the unique ability to combine PICs and electronics to create the first optoelectronic circuits in InP.”

OneChip says that its regrowth-free, PIC-based InP technology has proven successful in the cost-sensitive, high-volume PON market, as its PIC-based PON transceivers and bi-directional optical sub-assemblies (BOSAs) are already being deployed by the world’s largest PON system providers.

Now, OneChip is extending this technology to the high-volume DCI market, which requires 100Gbps+ solutions with higher interface density and longer reach than those within the reach of currently deployed systems in 0.85μm and multi-mode fibers. The DCI market also requires lower cost and power consumption than the solutions offered by the traditional telecom component vendors. Simultaneously with the foundry announcements, OneChip has also launched a new family of PIC-based 100Gbps optical interconnect solutions.

Tags: OneChip PIC InP IQE GCS




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