GF takes 90nm silicon photonics to 300mm wafers

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As silicon photonics is being seen as a potential way of supporting the higher data rates needed by future datacentres, Globalfoundries (GF) says it has qualified the first 90nm manufacturing process using 300mm wafers. The foundry has also revealed plans to move to 45nm in order to deliver higher bandwidth and better energy efficiency.

“The explosive need for bandwidth is fuelling demand for a new generation of optical interconnects,” said Mike Cadigan, pictured, a GF senior vice president. “Our silicon photonics technologies enable customers to deliver unprecedented levels of connectivity for transferring massive amounts of data, whether it’s between chips inside a datacentre or across cloud servers separated by hundreds and even thousands of miles. When combined with our advanced ASIC and packaging capabilities, these technologies allow us to deliver highly differentiated solutions to this marketplace.”

GF’s current-generation silicon photonics offering is built on its 90nm RF SOI process, which can provide a bandwidth of 30GHz, in turn enabling data rates of up to 800Gbit/s over distances of up to 120km. This process has now been migrated to a 300mm line at GF’s Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill.

GF’s next-generation silicon photonics process, planned for 2019, will be based on its 45nm RF SOI process. This, it notes, will enable optical transceivers with ‘significantly higher bandwidth’ to address terabit applications.