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15 March 2013

Imec offers fully integrated silicon photonics platform via ePIXfab MPW service

Nanoelectronics research center Imec of Leuven, Belgium has announced the launch of its fully integrated silicon photonics platform through a cost-sharing multi-project wafer (MPW) service via ePIXfab, the EU-funded silicon photonics foundry consortium coordinated by an Imec-UGent partnership and including members CEA-LETI (France), IHP (Germany) TNO (Netherlands), Tyndall (Ireland), VTT (Finland) and CMC Microsystems (Canada).

The platform aims to enable cost-effective R&D of silicon photonic ICs for high-performance optical transceivers (25Gb/s and beyond) and optical sensing and life-science applications. The integrated components that are offered include low-loss waveguides, efficient grating couplers, high-speed silicon electro-optic modulators and high-speed germanium waveguide photo-detectors.

Since 2007, Imec and its associated laboratory at Ghent University (UGent) have been offering a platform for passive silicon photonic components via ePIXfab for R&D under shared cost conditions. Now, Imec is extending its silicon photonics offering, using a standard 130nm CMOS toolset, with active components such as high-speed optical modulators and integrated germanium photo-detectors.

“Imec’s silicon photonics platform provides robust performance and solutions to integrated photonics products in medical diagnostics, telecom and datacom industries,” says Philippe Absil, program director at imec. “Companies can benefit from our silicon photonics capability through established standard cells, or explore the functionality of their own designs in MPW,” he adds. “This Silicon Photonics MPW offer provides a cost-efficient solution, with state-of-the-art performance, design flexibility and superior CD and thickness control,” Absil claims.

The first run opens for registration with tape-in on 9 October, and first devices will be out in May 2014. Support, registration and design kit access will be organized by the Europractice IC service, in collaboration with worldwide MPW partners.

Imec says that its silicon photonics 200mm wafer platform offers extensive design flexibility and includes:

  • tight within-wafer silicon thickness variation 3- < 2.5nm;
  • 3-level patterning of 220nm top silicon layer (193nm optical lithography);
  • poly-silicon overlay and patterning (193nm optical lithography);
  • 3-level n-type implants and 3-level p-type implants in silicon;
  • Ge epitaxial growth on Si and p-type and n-type implants in germanium;
  • local NiSi contacts, tungsten vias and copper (Cu) metal interconnects;
  • aluminium (Al) bond pads;
  • validated cell library with fiber couplers, polarization rotators, highly efficient carrier depletion modulators and ultra-compact Ge waveguide photo-detectors with low dark current; and
  • design kit support for Ipkiss, PhoeniX and Mentor Graphics software.

See related items:

UGent and Imec release IPKISS open-source software platform to integrated photonics design community

Tags: Silicon photonics



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