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Photonics Spectra
Jul 1999
Chips on a Mission

Kenneth J. Kaufmann

The engineers who design and develop new office and computer equipment, consumer products and industrial machinery are facing increasing end-user pressures to reduce costs, increase reliability, add functionality, miniaturize the package and deliver new solutions quickly. As such, design engineers are continually seeking new components and subsystems that simplify their design challenges.

Photodetector manufacturers are meeting this challenge by producing devices that miniaturize the packaging and reduce the design and development time. The new devices combine photodiodes and signal processing circuits into one package. These multifunction chips operate essentially as photonic integrated circuits, giving rise to their nickname: photoICs.

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