|20 years of silicon photonics: lessons learned, lessons to be learned
|International Conference Presentation
|Opto-electronics and Communications Conference (OECC)
|Jeju, South Korea
|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.