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Authors: R. Baets
Title: 20 years of silicon photonics: lessons learned, lessons to be learned
Format: International Conference Presentation
Publication date: 7/2018
Journal/Conference/Book: Opto-electronics and Communications Conference (OECC) (invited)
Location: Jeju, South Korea
Citations: Look up on Google Scholar


In less than 20 years silicon photonics has evolved from a research curiosity to an industry-relevant field with products in the marketplace. Silicon photonics takes advantage of the maturity and existing manufacturing infrastructure of the silicon CMOS world to implement photonic functions, including wavelength-selective functions, high speed modulators or detectors, fiber-coupling structures, sensing structures etc. One of the key challenges in this field has been to develop photonic structures with nanometer-level geometric accuracy, a requirement which is different from the electronic IC world. The key business driver for silicon photonics is the high speed optical transceiver for short-reach interconnect with aggregate data rates of 100 Gb/s and higher. However increasingly other products are emerging, on one hand in high-end telecom products and on the other hand in a variety of sensing applications.
In spite of these exciting developments important challenges still lay ahead, not only with respect to unsolved technical issues such as wafer-level light source integration, but also in the barriers that photonics-agnostic end-users experience when accessing the silicon photonics supply chain.

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