First Terabit optical link for chip-to-chip connections

June 09, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
First Terabit optical link for chip-to-chip connections
A terabit chip-to-chip optical interconnect from ​Ayar Labs and a new specification opens up the use of high performance chiplets in artificial intelligence, high performance computing, cloud, telecommunications and aerospace.

US startup Ayar Labs has successfully demonstrated the industry’s first terabit per second Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) optical link for chip-to-chip and chiplet links.

The TeraPHY optical I/O chiplet has eight optical ports running error free without Forward Error Correction (FEC) for a total bandwidth of 1.024 Tbit/s with less than 5 pJ/bit energy efficiency used with the company’s SuperNova multi-wavelength source.

This is a major milestone in providing optical connectivity for data-intensive chip-to-chip applications, low power interconnects, and the latest heterogeneous and disaggregated co-packaged chiplet architectures.

“This is yet another industry first demonstration of our technology which promises to transform computing and extend the benefits of Moore’s Law,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “Digital transformation is being driven by cloud, connectivity, artificial intelligence, and intelligent edge; our roadmap of products and custom solutions is tailored to serve these high-volume market segments. We remain on track to deliver on several customer commitments by end of year.”

SuperNova is the industry’s first multi-wavelength, multi-port optical source with 64 addressable wavelengths. This has eight times the number of wavelengths compared to today’s commercially available pluggable products. The SuperNova is also the first product compliant with new specifications from an industry consortium that drives standards for advanced optical communication and computing applications. The multi-wavelength source uses laser technology from MACOM.

“MACOM’s novel laser arrays are ideal for silicon photonics and co-packaged optics,” said Stephen Daly, President and CEO of MACOM. “As a promoter-level member of the CW-WDM MSA, we are excited to collaborate with Ayar Labs on the next generation of optical devices based on the MSA’s new specification.”

Next: Optical multi-source specifications

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