Silicon photonics lane rates pushed to 50Gbit/s

Using process and design optimisations, Belgian nanoelectronics research centre imec has upgraded its integrated silicon photonics platform with technology that is said to support non return to zero (NRZ) lane rates of 50Gbit/s. The development, according to imec, is an important milestone in the realisation of high data rate silicon integrated optical interconnects.

Alongside improving the operating speed of silicon based travelling wave Mach-Zehnder modulators and ring modulators, imec says it has also developed a C-band GeSi electro-absorption modulator with an electro-optical bandwidth in excess of 50GHz. This, it explains, will enable NRZ modulation at data rates of 56Gbit/s and beyond.

The 50Gbit/s components are included in imec’s 200mm silicon photonics multiproject wafer portfolio and are supported by a Process Design Kit.