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Luxtera Develops Single-Chip Dual XFP Transceiver
Aug 2006
CARLSBAD, Calif. Aug. 23, 2006 -- Carlsbad-based Luxtera Inc. announced this week it has created its first single-chip integrated photonics-electronics device implemented in a standard CMOS process. The technology integrates high-performance optics and mainstream electronics on a single die, bringing fiber connectivity directly to the chip.

Fabrication in a standard, high-volume 0.13 micron SOI (silicon-on-insulator)-CMOS process makes fiber optics feasible and economical for everyday life, Luxtera said. Additional digital logic can be integrated into the same chip with optical devices, further reducing overall solution size, power consumption and cost.

Luxtera said it is currently sampling prototype devices for preliminary testing by strategic development partners. The technology incorporates two lasers and photodetectors mounted directly on a monolithic CMOS die that includes all logic equivalent to two complete XFP (10 Gb small-form-factor pluggable) modules, including transimpedance amplifiers, Mach-Zehnder modulators and transmit-and-receive clock and data recovery circuits. This complete single chip device is one-quarter of the size of existing XFP module systems.

The company said it will launch a commercial transceiver product line based on this underlying technology early in 2007. Initial products will consist of multiport transceivers for communications, storage and computing applications. Luxtera also said it is currently working with customers to develop new applications for CMOS photonics.

The first commercial application is expected to be high-speed, high-bandwidth enterprise data communications. Luxtera said CMOS photonics technology will enable the widespread adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet interconnects, which today are very expensive to deploy, by driving the cost of 10 Gigabit Ethernet optical ports to well below $100.

“The potential impact on the industry of combining photonic and electronic elements on a single CMOS die is substantial,” said Lawrence Gasman, president of CIR, a Charlottesville, Va., market research firm. “Many applications, including those in the cost sensitive consumer markets, will benefit from the improvements in cost, power consumption and size.”

Luxtera said that as a result of its technology, the cost of optical interfaces are reaching those of copper with the added benefits of lower-power, lower-latency, smaller-footprint, longer-reach and less expensive cabling. "For complete link solutions, the technology provides 7X power reduction, 40X reach, 100X lower latency with scalability to 1000X the bandwidth of 10GBASE-T," the company said in a statement.

“This technology is the future of optical interfaces,” said Marek Tlalka, vice president of marketing at Luxtera. “Traditional discrete optical solutions are bulky and costly. Emerging 10G copper interfaces are also bulky, power hungry and extremely limited in their reach. Our advanced developments eliminate these constraints to commercialization and, for the first time, render fiber optic performance at costs associated with copper interfaces a reality.”

For more information, visit:

CMOSCMOS processCommunicationsfiber connectivityfiber opticsLuxteraNews & Featuresoptical devicesSensors & Detectorssilicon-on-insulatorsingle-chip integrated photonicsSOItransceiversXFP modules

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