23 February 2021
POET’s LightBar-C targets new markets for co-packaged optics and optical sensing
POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada — designer and developer of the POET Optical Interposer and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for the data-center and telecom markets — has extended its Optical Interposer into new applications and markets with LightBar-C, a fully integrated, multiplexed light-source for optical computing chipsets and sensing applications.
The Optical Interposer platform has been extended and validated with the intrinsic features to support conventional-band (C-band) and long-band (L-band) lasers that produce light in the 1530-1625nm frequency range. POET has designed, developed and demonstrated cooled lasers for the Optical Interposer platform with up to 90mW of power operating at room temperature. In addition, the firm has designed and demonstrated a dense wavelength division multiplexer (DWDM) embedded in the Optical Interposer waveguide layer that allows channel spacings of 200GHz, providing the high density and broadband requirements needed for high-performance optical sensing and co-packaged optics (CPO) applications, such as optical computing chipsets for artificial intelligence (AI).
The firm’s first product to incorporate all of these features is the POET LightBar-C, which includes integrated spot-size converters that minimize coupling losses and increase power efficiency of components, such as multiplexers and detectors. The product provides low-loss fiber and free-space coupling, all specifically developed for highly integrated solutions within the C-band frequencies. The LightBar-C also utilizes a versatile and integrated laser source with multiple wavelengths (from 2 up to 8) multiplexed in the C-band.
The optical bandwidth in the C-band is in the ‘eye-safe’ region, which makes it suitable for free-space sensing applications. Consequently, C-band light solutions are expected to be foundational to the next generation of light detection & ranging (LiDAR) solutions where high sensitivity, high power, reduced atmospheric influence and eye safety are presumed to be essential requirements.
“The mega trends of cloud computing, 5G communications and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence are spawning numerous applications and driving increasing volume demands for both high-performance lasers and integrated photonics solutions. These applications require a step-function improvement in packaging and scalability,” says chairman & CEO Dr Suresh Venkatesan. “Current photonics products are still assembled and tested using conventional and esoteric packaging technologies that ultimately limit production scalability. POET’s Optical Interposer addresses key integration and scalability challenges with a unified wafer-scale hybrid integration platform that seamlessly merges the benefits of planar lightwave circuits (PLCs) and electrical interposer functionality for co-packaging electronics and optics within a single chip-scale package.”
As with previously announced Optical Interposer-based solutions, POET’s unique method of hybrid integration enables products with small form factors and high performance. The firm’s wafer-scale hybrid integration approach is said to simplify the manufacturing, assembly and testing of the passively assembled optical sub-system while simultaneously maximizing power efficiency with reduced coupling losses through the complete link.
The firm says that the extensibility to the C-band frequency range consisting of 15xx wavelengths of light further exemplifies the value of its hybrid platform approach, as the same fundamental Optical Interposer manufacturing process and design kits can be utilized to deliver solutions across a wide range of applications.