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4 March 2014

POET achieves new milestone and reports progress

POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Canada – which, through subsidiary OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS Inc) of Storrs, CT, USA, has developed the proprietary planar-optoelectronic technology (POET) platform for monolithic fabrication of integrated III-V-based electronic and optical devices on a single semiconductor wafer – has announced the achievement of continuous-wave (cw) operation of its thyristor laser within its POET platform. The firm is also reporting progress on several other initiatives on its technical roadmap.

POET switching laser

The firm has achieved the long-awaited milestone (MS-5) - operation of its switching laser within the POET platform. This has implications for on-chip and optical communications applications. The firm claims that this demonstration is an advance for an integrated circuit industry seeking ways to push complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes past some challenging technical barriers.

“This is the most definitive step yet in our drive to enhance POET’s electronic and optical monolithic capability, beyond CMOS and silicon photonics,” says executive chairman & interim CEO Peter Copetti.

Specifically, switching operation was achieved with a laser threshold of 1mA, just above a thyristor holding current of 0.5mA, for a 10-micron-diameter laser device, exhibiting a suppression ratio of 50dB. This enables optical short-reach applications found in data-center, server farms and high-performance computing, lowering system solution cost when compared to silicon photonics, the firm reckons.

Facility upgrades

In accordance with its planned maintenance scheduled for the POET facility, the firm has completed its most recent wafer growth cycle. In association, POET is upgrading its molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system to make critical additions and to replenish source materials. A critical addition is a high-volume indium (In) source to enable metamorphic growth on a gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate of the POET epitaxy with a natural wavelength of 1550nm. This is expected to enable the production of long-wavelength lasers combined with high-In-content field-effect transistor (FET) channels for improved high-speed transistor performance.

Drive for feature size to 100nm range (MS-8)

The firm recently introduced a milestone associated with reducing feature size to the 100nm range, and previously announced that it had realized submicron device operation from an initial 800nm down to 200nm.

The company is moving steadily towards the goal of 100nm feature sizes for transistors within the POET platform, and has stabilized feature definition at the sub-200nm level. Short-channel considerations are being addressed with new innovations, and the critical step of isolating source-drain and gate contacts with oxygen implantation is nearing completion. The 100nm goal is matched to state-of-the-art commercial III-V foundry capabilities and will demonstrate greater than 20x speed improvement together with 4-10x lower power consumption (depending on the application) compared with silicon at smaller nodes.

Although timelines are always subject to review depending on partner needs, the technical team sees no significant technical roadblocks ahead. POET anticipates completion of the 100nm milestone by the end of April.

Technical development kits (TDK)

In addition to optimizing device parameters and yields, the firm is focusing on establishing POET’s technology design kits (TDKs). The TDKs comprise a comprehensive design rules and device parameter library, and will enable customers and partners to implement the POET process into preferred foundries. The TDKs are also intended to help licensed designs in a POET device ecosystem to proliferate and help existing silicon library functions migrate to POET technology-based circuitry in a minimum amount of time.

The firm is reporting that, with the help of select potential POET Development Alliance (PDA) partners, progress on this milestone is ahead of the schedule set by the former Special Strategic Committee. “It is gratifying to see our excitement shared by others, and we hope that excitement will be infectious as we head into the Global Semiconductor Forum [GSF, in Singapore on 12-14 March],” says Copetti. “We have a relentless focus on securing our intellectual property and in forging ties to industry, and this positions POET Technologies in its drive to extend Moore’s Law to the next level.”

The firm reckons that, by enabling increased speed, density, reliability, power efficiency, and much lower bill-of-materials and assembly costs, POET’s technology will allow continued advances in semiconductor device performance and capabilities for many years, overcoming the existing power and speed bottlenecks of silicon-based circuits. It also aims to influence the future development roadmaps of a broad range of semiconductor and other applications, including mobile and wearable devices, computer servers, storage arrays, imaging equipment, and networking equipment.

See related items:

POET dissolves Special Strategic Committee as firm transitions from research to development

POET’s Special Strategic Committee announces key updates

Tags: POET

Visit: www.poet-technologies.com

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