05 March 2012

CEA-Leti develops fully integrated silicon photonics transmitter

An integrated tunable transmitter on silicon has been demonstrated for the first time, paving the way for fully integrated transceivers.

The transmitter has been developed by CEA-Leti, III-V lab, a joint lab of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France and Thales Research and Technology.

The transmitter incorporates a hybrid III-V/Si laser-fabricated by direct bonding, which exhibits 9nm wavelength tunability and a silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator with high extinction ratio (up to 10dB), leading to a bit error rate performance at 10Gb/s. The results were obtained as part of the European funded project HELIOS. The University of Surrey designed the modulator, while Ghent University-imec designed the laser.

CEA-Leti and III-V lab have also demonstrated single wavelength tunable lasers, with 21mA threshold at 20°C, 45nm tuning range and side mode suppression ratio larger than 40dB over the tuning range. The results will be overviewed during the Optical Fiber Communication conference 2012 in Los Angeles (USA) on March 4 to 8, 2012.

Both organisations believe they have made a significant breakthrough in silicon photonics by integrating complex devices on the same chip, such as a fully integrated transmitter working above 10Gb/s or a tunable single wavelength laser. Silicon photonics technology has the potential to bring large scale cmos manufacturing to traditional expensive photonic devices. One obstable to silicon photonics is the lack of optical sources on silicon – the base material on cmos.

Martin Zirngibl, Bell Labs Physical Technologies Research leader, said: "We can overcome this problem by bonding III-V material, necessary for active light sources, onto a silicon wafer and then coprocessing the two, thus accomplishing two things at once. Traditional cmos processing is still used in the process, while at the same time we now can integrate active light sources directly onto silicon."

According to Zirngibl, based on the heterogeneous integration process developed by the CEA-Leti and III-V lab, III-V materials such as InP can be integrated onto silicon wafers. The fabrication process starts on 200mm silicon on insulator wafers where the silicon waveguides and modulators are fabricated on CEA-Leti 200mm cmos pilot line.

"We are proud to jointly present with III-V lab the results of the integrated silicon photonics transmitter and the tunable laser," said Laurent Fulbert, Photonics Program Manager at the CEA-Leti France. "The ability to integrate a tunable laser, a modulator and passive waveguides on silicon paves the way of further developments on integrated transceivers that can address several application needs in metropolitan and access networks, servers, data centres, high performance computers as well as optical interconnects at rack level and board level. We are pleased to bring our contribution to these state of the art results which can truly revolutionise optical communications."

Chris Shaw

Supporting Information


Findlay Media Ltd

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Toshiba starts 15nm flash

Toshiba is to commence 15nm NAND flash production at the end of the month at ...

£2.75m for feasibility studies

The Technology Strategy Board, Invest Northern Ireland and Highlands and ...

Amp works at 50% efficiency

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff have created an ...

Down to the wire

Once the plain old telephone service, the role of the telephone wire continues ...

Within touching distance

Graphene is starting to filter onto the market. HEAD claims its tennis racquets ...

Making light work of photonics

Today's world is permeated by electronics, from industry to communications, ...

NI Trend Watch 2014

This report from National Instruments summarises the latest trends in the ...

Capactive sensing

This whitepaper looks at a number of capacitive sensing applications to ...

Altium's Innovation Station

An introduction to the Altium Innovation Station. It includes an overview of ...

IBM tackles 22nm challenges

IBM has announced the semiconductor industry’s first computationally based ...

BEEAs 2013

9th October 2014, 8 Northumberland, London

Self-destructing electronics

Researchers at Iowa State University have created transient electronics that ...

MEMS switch for 'true 4G'

General Electric has created a 3GHz RF MEMS switch that can handle up to 5kW of ...

Smart fabrics developed at NPL

NPL has developed a new method to produce conductive textiles. The technique ...

Electronic charge to 800mph

Breaking the land speed record would require a very special blend of latest ...

Flash drives semi technologies

Demand for NAND flash is said to be growing at 45% per year, driven mainly by ...

Top tech trends for 2013

Bee Thakore, European technical marketing manager for element14, gives an ...

Nathan Hill, director, NGI

Research into graphene won Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov the Nobel prize in ...

Brent Hudson, Sagentia

Sagentia's ceo tells Graham Pitcher how the consulting company is anticipating ...

Prof Donal Bradley, Imperial

Graham Pitcher talks to a researcher who was 'there at the start' of the ...