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Open silicon photonics platform features integrated lasers

Business news |
By Rich Pell


Formed through a partnership between electronic design automation company Synopsys and networking products developer Juniper Networks, OpenLight offers a platform that is designed to provide a new level of laser integration and scalability to accelerate the development of high-performance photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in applications such as datacom, telecom, LiDAR, healthcare, HPC, AI, and optical computing. The technology, says the company, has passed qualification and reliability tests on Tower’s PH18DA production process.

Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tower Semiconductor’s Analog Business Unit says, “We strongly believe that OpenLight’s technology will transform the silicon photonics industry. Providing an open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers that has been qualified on Tower’s process will help mutual customers innovate and fuel the next generation of silicon photonics designs at scale. We are excited to partner with OpenLight in this journey.”

As the optics industry advances, a major challenge for silicon photonics has been laser integration and the high cost associated with adding discrete lasers, including the manufacturing, assembly, and alignment of those lasers. This becomes more important as the number of laser channels and the overall bandwidth increases.

By processing the Indium Phosphide (InP) materials directly on the silicon photonics wafer, the PH18DA platform reduces the cost and time of adding lasers, enabling volume scalability and improved power efficiency. In addition, monolithically integrated lasers improve overall reliability and simplify packaging.

“OpenLight is paving the way for the new generation of silicon photonics by enabling the scalable integration of lasers in pluggable and co-packaged optics,” says Aveek Sarkar, Vice President of Engineering at Synopsys. “The combination of Synopsys’ unified electronic and photonic design solution and OpenLight’s innovative silicon photonics platform will significantly accelerate the development of photonics ICs.”

The new company operates under the tagline, “Open. Integrated. Scalable.” The open platform includes integrated lasers, optical amplifiers, modulators, photodetectors, and other key photonic components to form a complete solution for low-power, high-performance photonics ICs. In addition, OpenLight offers select PIC designs and design services to accelerate time-to-market.

Dr. Thomas Mader, Chief Operating Officer at OpenLight says, “The rapidly growing silicon photonics market is being driven by the relentless demand for higher bandwidth needed to analyze, store and move complex data. OpenLight’s open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers enables scaling from one laser to hundreds, or even thousands of lasers per PIC, all monolithically integrated at the wafer level. With our platform, companies can enter emerging markets faster, accelerate new applications and completely change the way their teams build photonic systems of tomorrow.”

The company expects the first open Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) shuttle run on the PH18DA process as well as 400G and 800G reference designs with integrated lasers to be available in Summer 2022.

OpenLight


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