1 November 2021
Skorpios presents co-packaged optics at ACP 2021
At the Asia Communications and Photonics Conference (ACP 2021) in Shanghai, China (24-27 October), Skorpios Technologies Inc of Albuquerque, NM, USA (which provides integrated silicon photonics products based on a proprietary, wafer-scale heterogeneous integration process) presented details of its approach to co-packaged optics, which provides optical interfaces directly at the package level for high-speed digital interfaces by utilizing the firm’s Tru-SiPh platform (integrating lasers, modulators and other components on a polarization-insensitive silicon photonics platform). This highly integrated photonic chip can provide 3.2Tb/s FR4 optical interfaces and is small enough that 16 can be placed around an integrated circuit to provide 51.2Tb/s as a chip-scale interface for the next generation of high-bandwidth switches.
Skorpios’ silicon photonics platform integrates lasers, electro-absorption modulators (EAM), semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) and photodiodes (PDs) in III-V compounds directly into silicon-based wafers.
Electronics and optics can then be integrated, burned in and tested at wafer scale. Laser materials are bonded directly to the silicon substrate, vastly improving heat management and minimizing the size of the laser. Since all laser stripe processing occurs after bonding, multiple devices can be implemented on each implanted epitaxial layer, and laser power into the waveguide is optimized. Similarly, EAMs are built from other implanted epitaxies, reducing size and control complexity of the modulator.
The thick silicon platform that Skorpios uses is said to offer several advantages: low waveguide loss, low coupling loss, polarization insensitivity, and high optical power handling. Multiplexing (Mux) and demultiplexing (DeMux) functions do not require tuning. The entire platform is covered in silicon dioxide after fabrication, so III-V devices and facets are environmentally protected, eliminating the need for hermetic packaging.
“With our design, we can integrate all devices on a single small chip, including 16 lasers (plus 16 redundant), 32 EAMs, 32 SOAs, 32 PDs, and 8 tuning-free wavelength Mux and DeMux, to provide eight standard 400Gb/s FR4 links,” notes chief technology officer Glenn Li. “This product is an outstanding demonstration of highly integrated heterogeneous silicon photonics possible with our platform,” he adds.