29 May 2023
CompoundTek and Hyper-silicon collaborate on silicon photonics high-volume wafer edge coupling test for datacom products
Singapore-based silicon photonic (SiPh) foundry services provider CompoundTek Pte Ltd has formed a strategic collaboration with China-based data-center transceiver provider Ningbo Hyper-silicon Technology Co Ltd (founded in 2019) to establish cost-effective high-volume SiPh wafer edge coupling test.
The partnership leverages CompoundTek’s existing wafer test solutions portfolio and aims to address the growing need for cost-effective testing capabilities with comprehensive coverage to identify known good dies at the wafer level and eliminate or reduce the need to perform die-level testing. It also taps into performance testing of the edge coupler, which is conducted in simulations akin to real-world or end-user applications, enabling SiPh product companies like Hyper-silicon to have faster yield feedback. Capturing potential excursions in the fab earlier minimizes the cost of yield dropouts in the later stages of the packaging process.
“We have been working to push the present technical boundaries in SiPh testing that allow for SiPh mass production and are excited to work with like-minded customers like Ningbo Hyper-silicon,” says CompoundTek’s CEO Raj Kumar (founder & CEO of holding company IGSS Ventures). “CompoundTek believes technology innovations in cost-effective and efficient test strategies capable of detecting defective dies or dies that do not meet the expected performance at the wafer level are key to wider adoption in the SiPh wafer-level edge coupling test space,” he adds.
“The high growth of demand for our product requires us to test our SiPh chips in both timely and cost-efficient ways to meet our end customer demand,” says Ningbo Hyper-silicon’s founder Yang Ming. “A repeatable and reliable SiPh wafer-level electro-optical testing test platform is critical to achieving this goal. CompoundTek's edge coupling wafer test solution meets our criteria, leading to improved quality control for the manufactured chips and identifying failures in the earlier assembly steps, allowing us to focus on Hyper-silicon’s core competencies in chip architecture and design.”
Integrating optical with electrical components on a single chip creates multiple new challenges in wafer-level testing of SiPh devices as large volumes of optical, electrical and opto-electrical device performance data are required at various stages of the product development life cycles, from prototyping to qualification and subsequently into production. Most companies have homegrown SiPh bench solutions, typically sufficient for small-scale engineering characterization during the initial design verification phase but inefficient for the high-throughput and low-cost test required for testing from risk production to the mass-production phase. Wafer-level edge coupling gives a higher test coverage than vertical coupling, traditionally used for coupling the light during wafer testing.
An agnostic SiPh wafer test service provider with a cost-efficient wafer test solution is needed to address market gaps, including for the largest SiPh product companies that have had to cope with modified testers and limited in-house capabilities, says CompoundTek.
CompoundTek has a portfolio of 20 commercial customers and collaborates with over 20 research institutes and universities in applications such as telecoms, automotive radar, datacoms, bio-sensing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and smart sensors. The firm claims to be one of few in the world with a dedicated SiPh water testing cleanroom offering state-of-the-art testing capabilities through multiple collaborations with specialized SiPh hardware testing companies.