14 September 2020
AMF and DenseLight sign MoU to co-develop SiPho optical engine with integrated InP lasers
Commercial pure-play silicon specialty foundry Advanced Micro Foundry Pte Ltd (AMF) – a spin-off of the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a research institute of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) – and Singapore-based DenseLight Semiconductor Pte Ltd, a vertically integrated end-to-end indium phosphide (InP) laser light solutions provider with its own InP metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) technology and wafer fab, have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop silicon photonics solutions with integrated lasers.
The data traffic within data centers is projected to grow rapidly over the next five years due to an economy increasingly relying on online solutions and the deployment of 5G technology, boosting demand for high-speed data-center interconnect. Silicon photonics (SiPho) technology is uniquely placed to support these requirements, and SiPho-based solutions began being deployed to support the transition from 100G to 400G data rates, notes DenseLight. However, silicon photonics chips for these applications require the subsequent attachment of an InP-based external laser light source, and the associated challenges can impact the final optical performance and cost of the interconnects.
AMF and DenseLight say that, by joining forces, they are combining their respective expertise in silicon photonics manufacturing and laser development to develop an integrated ‘low loss - low cost’ SiPho optical engine with integrated laser light source. Rather than off-the-shelf modules with a limited range of specifications, the companies will focus on the development of laser-on-chip integration solutions that can be applied directly onto customer photonic integrated circuit (PIC) designs. The solutions will then be offered through AMF’s pure-play foundry services with DenseLight’s matching laser integration as part of the AMF process design kits (PDKs).
It is reckoned that the availability of such made-to-order turnkey silicon photonics optical engine solutions with integrated light sources will contribute to lower assembly costs and shorten development cycle times of transceivers (400G/800G) and fiber sensing products.
“For the first time, two Singapore companies are working together to locally develop unique solutions that will promote the widespread adoption of silicon photonics by the data communication industry and by other emerging technologies,” says AMF’s president Dr Patrick Lo.
“This MoU creates a unique partnership between two synergistic Singapore-based companies to deliver turnkey SiPho-based solutions to both datacom and fiber sensing customers,” says DenseLight’s president & CEO Rajan Rajgopal. “Our proprietary DPHI technology enables the integration of InP-based photonics devices to SiPho platforms for efficient light coupling into waveguides.”