3 December 2020
Ayar demos ultra-dense optical interconnects on GlobalFoundries’ silicon photonics process
As part of a multi-year technology and manufacturing partnership, Ayar Labs of Santa Clara, CA, USA has demonstrated its patented monolithic electronic/photonic solution on the next-generation photonics solution of GlobalFoundries (GF) based on its 45nm platform. This is reckoned to be an industry first and milestone in providing chip-to-chip optical connectivity at scale for data-hungry applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC), cloud, telecoms and aerospace.
The two companies began working together in 2015 with a commitment to collaborate and commercialize differentiated silicon photonics solutions for greenfield applications that would require extreme bandwidth density (high data throughput in a small physical package) at low latency and high energy efficiency.
“Ayar Labs has been perfecting our micro-ring based monolithic electronic/photonic solution for nearly a decade,” says Ayar’s CEO Charles Wuischpard. “But the true commercial potential is realized when coupled with a 300mm semiconductor fabrication process that delivers the performance, reliability and cost advantages that we and our customers require,” he adds.
“Ayar Labs is an important partner of GlobalFoundries,” comments Anthony Yu, VP of silicon photonics at GF. “As collaborators, we’ve incorporated their requirements for PDK [process design kit] and process optimizations while providing early access to our next-generation process,” he adds. “Together, we will unlock a larger market opportunity and realize chip-to-chip optical I/O solutions that will enable higher bandwidth and faster connection for high-performance computer applications.”
Over the last 18 months, Ayar Labs has been working with select semiconductor manufacturers, systems builders and end users on co-design partnerships. The firm is now announcing an expanded sampling program of its next-generation chiplet developed on GF’s latest silicon photonics manufacturing process that will be available to a broader group by request at www.ayarlabs.com/starterkit.
Ayar’s president & chief technology officer Dr Mark Wade is sharing details of this demonstration at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2020) as part of his presentation on ‘Silicon photonic chiplets for chip-to-chip communications’ on 8 December (16:20–16:40 CET). A video of the demonstration will also be made available at this time.