The platform comprises: multiple laser types; detectors for sensing and 400G communications; amplitude and phase modulators also for sensing and 400G communications applications; edge- and perpendicular-oriented free-space optics; optical fiber connection; and optical signal processing.
This integration of light sources, optical amplifiers, active, passive, and coupling elements covering a wide optical band is suitable for the creation of photonic ICs for connectivity and sensing applications.
The silicon photonics platform also enables wafer-scale processing of both monolithic and multi-die structures for chip-on-wafer integration. The platform also includes 2D and 3D packaging of photonic ICs with ASICs
Rockley also has expertise in designing analog and mixed-signal ASIC blocks and digital interfaces for inclusion in the accompanying electronic ICs.
One key issue enabled by the Rockley photonic platform is the elimination of active precision fiber alignment. “In one partnership example, active optical cables (AOCs) and transceivers will be manufactured by our joint venture with Hengtong Optic-Electric Suzhou, a world-leading optical fiber and cable provider,” said Andrew Rickman, chairman and CEO of Rockley, in a statement. “The platform-derived photonics and electronics chipset we are providing is key to facilitating the massive scaling required in datacenter expansion, AI computing connectivity and 5G backhaul, where high bandwidth and dense optical input/output are paramount and also where cost and power utilization are critical.”
High-density in-package connection optical ASICs or optoASICs, is one of the applications Rockley’s versatile technology platform has been developed for. In 2018 Rockley demonstrated an optical ASIC that provides a level-3 datacenter routing switch with integrated 100G network ports using single-mode optical fiber.
Next: Which foundries?
Rickman continued: “The platform’s ability to fully integrate transceiver functionality sets it apart from other transceiver solutions that use older chip-on-board and labor-intensive assembly practices.”
Rockley did not reveal the name of the partner foundry but said the platform would deliver low-cost, high-value wafer-scale processing for photonic ICs, enabling a greater number of applications to benefit from the technology.
At the prototype level Rockley has worked with TSMC for electronic ASICs manufactured in a 28nm process and used “third-party” fabrication houses to make photonic ICs using a Rockley process. IBM has created a substrate to receive ASIC and photonic ICs and performed chip assembly and test with final assembly performed by Fabrinet.
Rickman founded Rockley in 2013. His first company founded to commercialize silicon photonics was Bookham Technology, which had a successful IPO in 2000 and is currently called Oclaro.
Related links and articles: