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25 March 2015

Imec, Intec and Stanford demo 50GHz Ge waveguide electro-absorption modulator

At the Optical Fiber Communication conference & exposition (OFC 2015) in Los Angeles (24-26 March), nanoelectronics research center Imec of Leuven, Belgium, its associated lab at Ghent University (the Department of Information Technology, or Intec), and the USA's Stanford University have demonstrated a compact germanium (Ge) waveguide electro-absorption modulator (EAM) with a modulation bandwidth beyond 50GHz.

Combining state-of-the-art extinction ratio and low insertion loss with an ultra-low capacitance of just 10fF, the EAM represents an important milestone for the realization of next-generation silicon integrated optical interconnects at 50Gb/s and beyond, says Imec.

Future chip-level optical interconnects require integrated optical modulators with stringent requirements for modulation efficiency and bandwidth, as well as for footprint and thermal robustness. Imec and its partners have improved the state-of-the-art for Ge EAMs on silicon, realizing higher modulation speed, higher modulation efficiency and lower capacitance. This was obtained by fully leveraging the strong confinement of the optical and electrical fields in the Ge waveguides, as enabled in Imec's 200mm silicon photonics platform. The EAM was implemented along with various silicon waveguide devices, highly efficient grating couplers, various active silicon devices, and high-speed Ge photodetectors, paving the way to industrial adoption of optical transceivers based on this device.

"This achievement is a milestone for realizing silicon optical transceivers for datacom applications at 50Gb/s and beyond," says Imec program director Joris Van Campenhout. "We have developed a modulator that addresses the bandwidth and density requirements for future chip-level optical interconnects."

Companies can exploit imec's iSiPP25G silicon photonics platform through established standard cells, or by exploring the functionality of their own designs in multi-project wafer (MPW) runs. The iSiPP25G technology is available via ICLink services and MOSIS, a provider of low-cost prototyping and small-volume production services for custom ICs.

See related items:

Imec demos 28Gb/s silicon photonics platform for high-density, low-power WDM optical interconnects

Tags: silicon photonics Germanium

Visit: www.imec.be/iclink

Visit: http://mosis.com

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