4 September 2020
CompoundTek and NTU to co-develop tunable laser source for silicon photonics
Singapore-based silicon photonic (SiPh) foundry services provider CompoundTek Pte Ltd is working with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on a three-year joint R&D collaboration for ‘O, C, L-band Silicon Photonics tuneable Lasers for Communications and Other Emerging Applications’.
A primary objective is to develop a high-performance tunable laser that has a compact footprint and is scalable, high-yield and suited for low-cost manufacturing. By replacing the commonly used array of single-wavelength lasers with a single wavelength-tunable laser, the much-simplified design architecture reduces existing complexities of optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems, and will additionally lower wavelength contention and inventory costs for commercial products, notes CompoundTek.
Picture: CompoundTek’s COO KS Ang (left) and NTU professor Wang (right) with a prototype of the packaged tunable laser.
The SiPh platform today offers scalability, cost-effectiveness and manufacturability of the matured silicon CMOS process. However, one of the key disadvantages of SiPh is the non-availability of a highly efficient silicon laser integrated with SiPh circuits. Hybrid SiPh, integrating SiPh devices with a III-V compound semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), offers the best of both worlds, enabling low propagation loss and high integration densities while providing efficient optical gain and flexibility for spectral engineering. This integration is one of the key research areas at NTU’s The Photonics Institute.
CompoundTek says that the collaboration reinforces its aim to advance R&D to enhance SiPh technology offerings and deliver on the firm’s commitment to its technology roadmap. Since its launch in 2017, CompoundTek has more than 20 global commercial customers in over nine countries and over 20 research institutes and universities in various applications such as telecoms, automotive light detection & ranging (LiDAR), datacoms, biosensing/bio-medical, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and smart sensors.