7 June 2022
OpenLight unveils open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers
Addressing the growing silicon photonics market requirements for improved performance, power efficiency and reliability, newly launched company OpenLight of Santa Barbara, CA, USA has introduced what it claims is the first open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers.
The platform provides increased laser integration and scalability to accelerate the development of high-performance photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in applications such as datacom, telecom, light detection & ranging (LiDAR), healthcare, high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), and optical computing. The technology has passed qualification and reliability tests on the PH18DA production process of foundry Tower Semiconductor. OpenLight expects the first open multi-project wafer (MPW) shuttle run on the PH18DA process as well as 400G and 800G reference designs with integrated lasers to be available in the summer.
“OpenLight’s technology will transform the silicon photonics industry,” believes Dr Marco Racanelli, senior VP & general manager of Tower Semiconductor’s Analog business unit. “Providing an open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers that has been qualified on Tower’s process will help mutual customers innovate and fuel the next generation of silicon photonics designs at scale.”
As the optics industry advances, a major challenge for silicon photonics has been laser integration and the high cost of adding discrete lasers, including the manufacturing, assembly and alignment of those lasers. This becomes more important as the number of laser channels and the overall bandwidth increases. By processing the indium phosphide (InP) materials directly on the silicon photonics wafer, the PH18DA platform reduces the cost and time of adding lasers, enabling volume scalability and improved power efficiency. In addition, monolithically integrated lasers improve overall reliability and simplify packaging.
“OpenLight is paving the way for the new generation of silicon photonics by enabling the scalable integration of lasers in pluggable and co-packaged optics,” comments Aveek Sarkar, VP of engineering at Synopsys Inc of Mountain View, CA, USA. “The combination of Synopsys’ unified electronic and photonic design solution and OpenLight’s innovative silicon photonics platform will significantly accelerate the development of photonics ICs,” he believes.
The open platform includes integrated lasers, optical amplifiers, modulators, photodetectors, and other key photonic components to form a complete solution for low-power, high-performance photonics ICs. In addition, OpenLight offers select PIC designs and design services to accelerate time-to-market.
OpenLight’s executive team is led by chief operating officer Dr Thomas Mader, VP of business development & strategy Dr Daniel Sparacin, and VP of engineering Dr Volkan Kaman.
“The rapidly growing silicon photonics market is being driven by the relentless demand for higher bandwidth needed to analyze, store and move complex data,” notes Mader. “OpenLight’s open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers enables scaling from one laser to hundreds, or even thousands of lasers per PIC, all monolithically integrated at the wafer level,” he adds. “With our platform, companies can enter emerging markets faster, accelerate new applications and completely change the way their teams build photonic systems of tomorrow.”