GF teams for 300mm wafer photonics

GF teams for 300mm wafer photonics

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

GlobalFoundries has launched a new 300mm platform for photonics, with key partnerships on designs and EDA tools.

The company has active design wins with major customers for its 300mm Fotonix platfrom, and is collaborating with chip designers Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Marvell and Nvidia as well as photonic chip designers Ayar Labs, Lightmatter, PsiQuantum, Ranovus and Xanadu.

It has also signed deals with Synopsys, Ansys and Cadence on EDA tools for photonic designs.

Fotoix is key to GF continuing to be the manufacturing leader in the optical networking module market which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 26% between 2021 and 2026, reaching about $4bn by 2026.

GF Fotonix is a monolithic platform that combines 300mm photonics and 300GHz-class RF-CMOS for volume production. These complex processes were previously distributed across multiple chips onto a single chip by combining a photonic system, radio frequency (RF) components and high-performance complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) logic on a single silicon chip.

GF is the only pure-play foundry with a 300mm monolithic silicon photonics offering and has demonstrated data rates of 500Gbit/s/fibre for 1.6-3.2Tbit/s optical chiplets. A 10,000x improvement in system error rate enables next generation artificial intelligence (AI) and the integration onto a photonics integrated circuit (PIC) is driving photonic quantum computer developments.

GF Fotonix will be manufactured at the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Malta, N.Y., with the PDK 1.0 physical design kit available in April 2022. GF provides reference design kits, MPWs, testing, pre- and post-fab, turnkey and semiconductor manufacturing services.

GF has also announced it is adding new features on its silicon germanium (SiGe) RF platform.

“We’re working closely with GlobalFoundries to design high-bandwidth, low-power optical interconnects for some of our leading-edge data centre products. Nvidia interconnect solutions manufactured with the monolithic GF Fotonix platform will boost high performance computing and AI applications, enabling breakthrough advances,” said Edward Lee, vice president of Mixed-Signal Design at Nvidia.

“The demands of today and tomorrow’s networking and communications infrastructure are requiring higher performance technologies for the design and manufacture of our optical transceiver modules,” said Bill Gartner, senior vice president and general manager of Optical Systems and Optics Group at Cisco Systems.

“Marvell continues to lead the industry with the highest performance transimpedance amplifiers and modulator drivers for next-generation optical connectivity solutions for the cloud data centers and carrier markets,” said Dr. Loi Nguyen, executive vice president, Optical and Copper Connectivity Group, Marvell.  “GF’s latest silicon germanium (SiGe) technology enables us to achieve the high bandwidth speeds and power efficiencies that our customers require to meet their ever-increasing data demands.”

“Since our earliest days, Ayar Labs and GlobalFoundries have partnered on the development of GF Fotonix, from incorporating our PDK requirements and process optimizations to demonstrating the first working silicon on the platform,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “The combination of our leading monolithic electronic/photonic solution and GF Fotonix unlocks a tremendous market opportunity for chip-to-chip optical I/O and sets the stage for us to deliver substantial volume shipments by year end.”

“At Lightmatter, our technology delivers compute that is faster and more efficient than anything else in the market—results like these aren’t possible with conventional chips,” said Nicholas Harris, CEO of Lightmatter. “Our next-generation technology is made possible by GlobalFoundries’ best-in-class photonic foundry technology and together we’re changing the way the world thinks about photonics. This is just the start.”

“We are delighted to share our multi-disciplinary silicon-photonics IP cores and chiplets, and advanced packaging solutions with our customers who are driving the adoption of novel data centre architectures based on integrating best-in-class chiplets and co-packaged optics,” said Hojjat Salemi, chief business development officer of Ranovus. “Our close collaboration with GlobalFoundries underlines our joint commitment to deliver a fully featured set of qualified IP cores and chiplets with OSAT-ready high-volume manufacturing flows and supporting ecosystem to enable the huge potential of monolithic silicon photonics.”

“Many chips, operating in parallel and networked together, are required to process the large number of qubits involved in fault-tolerant quantum computing algorithms,” said Zachary Vernon, head of hardware at Xanadu. “Leveraging an existing advanced 300mm platform like GF Fotonix gives us a huge advantage in the race to deliver a useful, error-corrected quantum computer.”

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