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17 September 2008


CIP launches hybrid photonic integrated circuit platform

At next week's 34th European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC 2008) in Brussels, Belgium (21-25 September), CIP Technologies of Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, UK is launching its HyBoard hybrid photonic integrated circuit (PIC) platform with a live demonstration of its flexibility via a proof-of-concept multi-channel dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) laser module producing 16 independent wavelengths on a 50GHz grid.

HyBoard brings together three main elements: indium phosphide (InP) active/passive optoelectronic device arrays, single-mode planar silica waveguides, and micromachined silica submounts. These are cost-effectively combined, as required, to create a hybrid integrated PIC with low optical losses. HyBoard can also be extended to accommodate optical isolators, thin-film filters and polarization elements, as well as customizable channel spacings and a wide range of different active/passive component arrays, including tunables.

The prototype multi-wavelength laser source being demonstrated incorporates multiple InP optoelectronic device arrays aligned to silica planar waveguides and other passive optical elements, including an arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) on the optical motherboard. The 16 lasers within the multi-wavelength source can each provide >0dBm output power and are individually addressable to enable channel power control and switching. The particular module, aimed at WDM-PON (passive optical network) headends and metro WDM, is one variant of a range of compact, cost-effective hybrid integrated designs now available to system integrators.

CIP says that the hybrid integration platform enables systems integrators to offer high-performance, highly functional, custom PICs at telecoms production volumes and competitive cost points, and provides assembly and form factor advantages over traditional multiple gold box solutions, as well as delivering a degree of flexibility, performance and functionality that is not possible with full monolithic integration.

“The HyBoard price point and value proposition offers a route for systems integrators to gain access to sophisticated integrated photonics technology and start addressing the growing gap between traffic growth and revenue," says chief technology officer David Smith. "CIP has developed a range of building blocks including semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) arrays, lasers and modulators, all designed to integrate within the HyBoard platform, providing a new and highly versatile capability to the system designer in core, metro and access applications,” he adds.

“HyBoard is designed for volume manufacture and can deliver bespoke, truly scalable and cost-effective PICs, optimized to the end-user’s requirements at realistic yields, as well as permitting a wide range of integrated optical functionality,” says Graeme Maxwell, VP of hybrid integration. “HyBoard provides the advantages of reduced assembly cost and footprint reduction over discretes but without the yield and performance challenges of full monolithic integration; this is a game-changing technology that offers all systems integrators a proven and available route to develop and deliver sophisticated custom PICs that are complementary to their own architectures,” he adds.

“Recent consolidations and joint venture announcements within the optical component industry show that hybrid integration is being taken seriously as a route to next-generation integrated photonic modules," Maxwell continues. "Both the markets and the systems integrators recognize the advantages of photonic integration, but are agnostic about what type of integration is used, as long as the device meets performance and price targets. HyBoard leverages our long experience of research, process development and manufacturing, and our extensive IPR portfolio to deliver a customizable, scalable and cost-effective offering to the telecoms industry for customer-driven commercial applications.”

CIP says that it is working with commercial customers to realise integrated, bespoke and application-specific HyBoard modules.

See related item:

CIP launches first reflective electro-absorption modulator

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