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IRT Nanoelec Integrates Laser, Modulator Directly on Silicon

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GRENOBLE, France, March 21, 2016 — Information and communications R&D consortium Nanoelec Research Technological Institute (IRT), has reported cointegration of a III-V/silicon laser and silicon Mach Zehnder modulator demonstrating 25 Gbps transmission on a single channel, a transmission rate usually achieved using an external source over a 10-km single-mode fiber.

To achieve the results, silicon photonics circuits integrating the modulator were processed first on a 200-mm SOI (silicon-on-insulator) wafer — although 300-mm wafers could be used in the near future, Nanoelec said. Then, a 2-in. wafer of III-V material was directly bonded on the wafer. In the third step, the hybrid wafer was processed using conventional semiconductor and/or microelectromechanical systems processing to produce an integrated modulator-and-laser transmitter.

Integrating photonics capabilities on silicon chips enables increased bandwidth, density and reliability, while reducing energy consumption and managing increased data traffic. In the age of photonics-on-silicon, data transmission will be measured in terabits per second, Nanoelec said.

The capabilities of the device were jointly obtained by STMicroelectronics and Leti. Samtec and Mentor Graphics also partnered on the project.

The Nanoelec Research Technological Institute (IRT), headed by CEA-Leti, conducts research and development in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) and, specifically, micro- and nanoelectronics.
Mar 2016
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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