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7 October 2019

ADVA leading three-year project to create optical transceiver chiplets

Germany’s ADVA Optical Networking SE says that it is leading a three-year initiative to create the industry’s most advanced optical transceiver chiplets, which will be key to tackling urgent bandwidth needs by enhancing density, flexibility and efficiency in data-center interconnect (DCI) networks.

The project ‘Photonic Embedding silicon-based electro-photonic integrated circuits of Active Region Laser chips in Silicon’ (PEARLS) - involving a consortium comprising ADVA, FormFactor, Fraunhofer IZM, IHP, IHP Solutions, Sicoya, Technion and the University of Kassel - aims to integrate quantum-dot lasers onto (ePICs). By combining silicon photonics, BiCMOS electronics and lasers on a single chip, the size and cost of optical transceivers can be dramatically reduced.

“With this project we’re taking integration and compact design to new levels,” says Jörg-Peter Elbers, ADVA’s senior VP, advanced technology. “By squeezing more technology onto a single chip than ever before, we’re creating a platform for miniaturized optical transceivers able to deliver the space and bandwidth density needed for tomorrow’s DCI networks,” he adds. “PEARLS not only paves the way for a new generation of intra-data-center transceivers, but also facilitates more compact and cost-effective integrated coherent transmitter-receiver optical sub-assemblies (IC-TROSAs) for inter-data-center applications.”

The PEARLS project is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Its multi-disciplinary engineering team is aiming to take a silicon-based electro-photonic chip platform – which offers monolithic integration of electronics and photonics, as already proven in the ADVA-led SPEED project – and extend it to incorporate a third key element: Quantum-dot lasers will be added to the chip, saving space and reducing energy consumption compared to off-chip approaches. Able to withstand extreme temperatures, they facilitate wafer-scale integration without the need for a thermo-electric cooler or a hermetic package.

“Within this very exciting project, IHP will develop the technology platform,” IHP GmbH’s managing director Bernd Tillack. “Together we’re breaking new ground and laying the foundations for the next generation of low-energy, space-efficient optical transceivers,” he adds. “The PEARLS project will pave the way for optical transceiver chiplets – modular transceiver chips with an unprecedented level of optical and electronic integration. Built on top of a standard BiCMOS process flow, the new technology will also be a major step forward for sustainable DCI networking.”

Tags: III-Vs-on-Si silicon photonics

Visit: www.advaoptical.com

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