IMEC, CST Global to offer InP light sources on silicon

March 05, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
IMEC, CST Global to offer InP light sources on silicon
European research center IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) and III-V foundry CST Global Ltd. (Hamilton, Scotland) have integrated InP distributed feedback (DFB) lasers into IMEC's silicon photonics platform.

CST Global is the photonics business unit of Sivers IMA Holding AB (Kista, Sweden). The joint technology offering is expected to encourage the uptake of silicon photonics in optical interconnects, optical sensing, cloud computing and beyond.

The collaboration between CST Global and IMEC began in 2019. The joint technology offering, showing successful, integrated assemblies of InP DFB lasers generating light at wavelengths from 1530nm to 1565nm, is now available. Interfaces for hybrid integration of InP DFB lasers and reflective semiconductor optical amplifiers (RSOA) will become available as part of imec’s silicon photonics prototyping services in the first half of 2021, following further optimization and qualification work in 2020.

Silicon itself does not emit light efficiently, so light sources made of III-V semiconductors, such as indium-phosphide (InP) or gallium-arsenide (GaAs), are typically implemented as separately packaged components. Such external light sources typically suffer from higher coupling loss; a large physical form factor; and a substantial packaging cost.

The InP lasers were 'flip-chip' integrated onto the SiPho circuits through a die-to-die bonding process, aligning efficiently and coupling >5mW into the SiN waveguides on the SiPho chip.

Joris Van Campenhout, optical I/O program director at IMEC said that the partnership plans to extend the functionality to include RSOA integration at 1310/1550nm wavelengths; and perform reliability qualification. "Early access through imec’s iSiPP200 prototyping services is anticipated by the first half of 2021," he said.

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