896Gb/s silicon photonics: transceiver

March 21, 2017 // By Julien Happich
At this week’s OFC 2017, imec presented a 896Gb/s silicon photonics transceiver only a few square millimeters. Aimed at future Tb/s optical links, the proof-of-concept 896Gb/s spatial-division multiplexing transceiver combines newly developed 50GHz active optical components with a multi-core fiber.

The bi-directional silicon photonics transceiver combines dense arrays of 56Gb/s Germanium-Silicon (GeSi) electro-absorption modulators (EAMs) and GeSi waveguide photodetectors (PDs) (16 GeSi EAMs and 16 GeSi PDs) implemented with a 100µm channel pitch on a single silicon chip and interfaced with a multi-core fiber. Both the EAM and PD devices are realized in a single GeSi epitaxial growth step, allowing a simple fabrication scheme.

The chip co-integrates optical power splitters to feed a single laser source to the transmitter channels, and a dense array of fiber grating couplers to interface with a pitch reducing optical fiber array (PROFA), provided and packaged by Chiral Photonics.

“We obtained clear and wide open eye diagrams at 56Gb/s non-return-to-zero on-off keying (NRZ-OOK) data rate, for all EAM and PD channels tested in a loop-back transmission experiment,” said Joris Van Campenhout, director of the Optical I/O R&D program at imec. “These results clearly show the potential to realize ultra-compact multi-channel optical transceivers in imec’s 50G silicon photonics platform, targeting future Tb/s-scale interconnects.”

The GeSi EAM and PD components are available for evaluation by companies and academia through imec’s silicon photonics prototyping service and the iSiPP50G multi-project wafer (MPW) service provided by Europractice.

The iSiPP50G platform includes a validated passive and active device library and is supported by photonic design software solutions from multiple EDA vendors, including Synopsys, Luceda Photonics and Lumerical in current or upcoming releases.

Visit imec at www.imec-int.com