GlobalFoundries Announces Optics Strategy

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Semiconductor foundry GlobalFoundries Inc. has announced details of its “silicon photonics road map” that aims to enable the next generation of optical interconnects for data center and cloud applications.

The company has now qualified a 90-nm manufacturing process using 300-mm wafers while also unveiling its upcoming 45-nm technology to deliver higher bandwidth and energy efficiency. GlobalFoundries’ silicon photonics technologies are designed to support the data of today’s global communication infrastructure. Instead of traditional interconnects that transmit data using electrical signals over copper wires, silicon photonics technology uses pulses of light through optical fibers to move more data at higher speeds and over longer distances, while also minimizing energy loss.

“The explosive need for bandwidth is fueling demand for a new generation of optical interconnects,” said Mike Cadigan, senior vice president of sales and the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) business unit at GlobalFoundries. “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 data center 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.”

GlobalFoundries’ next-generation monolithic silicon photonics offering will be manufactured on its 45-nm radio frequency silicon-on-insulator process, with production slated for 2019. By leveraging the more advanced 45-nm node, the technology will enable reduced power, smaller form factor, and significantly higher-bandwidth optical transceiver products to address next-generation terabit applications.

Published: April 2018
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