, Luxtera achieves record optical performance with new TSV-enabled silicon photonics platform at TSMC

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14 March 2018

Luxtera achieves record optical performance with new TSV-enabled silicon photonics platform at TSMC

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Fabless silicon photonics firm Luxtera of Carlsbad, CA, USA says that significant performance gains have been achieved in the new through-silicon via (TSV)-enabled silicon photonics platform in development at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TMSC, the world’s biggest semiconductor wafer foundry).

Announced last year, Luxtera and TSMC have jointly developed a unique silicon photonics platform in TSMC’s 300mm CMOS wafer foundry. Leveraging TSMC’s process capabilities, Luxtera’s new device library has demonstrated the key performance parameters needed to lead the industry in speed, power, density, cost and system-on-chip (SoC) integration, it is claimed.

Luxtera says it has now demonstrated multiple record-breaking elements for silicon photonic integrated circuits (PICs). These elements are scalable to high-volume manufacturing and operate at 1310nm and all standard CWDM wavelengths. Record performance has been achieved for over 50 new device library elements, including low-loss grating couplers with losses under 1dB for light coupled in and out of the PIC, low-loss waveguides, a high-efficiency PM phase modulator with 3dB bandwidth > 50GHz that can be built in various system architectures (traveling-wave MZI, segmented MZI, and rings to supports NRZ, PAM, QAM), and germanium waveguide photodetectors with responsivity over 1A/W and 3dB bandwidth higher than 45GHz.

These devices are fabricated using TSMC’s process technology on a 300mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer optimized for O-band operation. The PICs will then be integrated with Luxtera’s internally developed companion CMOS ICs, which will be fabricated in TSMC’s 7nm process. Luxtera’s designs include transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs), clock & data recovery (CDR) ICs, Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) modulator drivers and digital signal processors (DSPs) that achieve high levels of performance and power efficiency. Luxtera says that these advances are crucial in providing a differentiated portfolio of high-performance optical transceiver products, starting with next-generation PAM-4 100G/λ single-wavelength and multi-wavelength transceivers (which begin shipping in 2019). Luxtera’s latest innovations are on display in Corporate Village room #6609 and booth #2701 at the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2018) in San Diego (13-15 March).

“TSMC’s industry-leading manufacturing capability, coupled with Luxtera’s world-class silicon photonics design, together provide the highest-performance and lowest-cost optical transceivers available to our hyperscale, cloud, enterprise and 5G mobile infrastructure customers,” claims Luxtera’s president & CEO Greg Young.

Tags: Luxtera Silicon photonics Optical transceivers TSMC

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