Electronics and light don’t go well together on a standard ‘CMOS’ chip. Researcher Satadal Dutta of the University of Twente succeeded in introducing a light connection into the heart of a semiconductor chip. In this way, two circuits can communicate. Or: the worlds of electronics and photonics are connected.
What is particularly attractive about Dutta’s solution is that no special materials or manufacturing processes are needed: the light comes from silicon. The light source, detector and the light channel can be made using the technology that is used to make the electronic circuits. Fully optical circuits are available nowadays, but they use materials like indium phosphide and gallium arsenide, which can’t easily be combined with the CMOS chip processes used for semiconductor chips you’ll find in today’s smartphones, for example.
The alternative would be: make a LED out of silicon. And that’s the problem: silicon only emits a tiny amount of infrared light, while a detector made out of silicon needs visible light. They are talking and listening at different wavelengths. Dutta therefore chooses a remarkable way out: connect the LED reverse. At low voltages, there’s no current, but at a voltage that is high enough, there will be a small current that amplifies itself like an avalanche. In this ‘avalanche mode’, the LED will transmit visible light. Using the same process, the light detector, as well as the light channel in-between can be made. Thanks to the special comb structure that Dutta designed, the light source gets more uniform and energy efficient.
An optical link on a chip is a good way to ‘galvanically’ isolate two circuits from each other. This is often necessary in cases where one circuit is a low-voltage and low-current one, while the other is a high-power circuit. They should be connected, but not by conducting wires, for reasons of safety. A classic transformer is an option then, but an optical connection is often used as well. Until now, this is a separate ‘optocoupler’, which is large and has a limited bit rate. Dutta’s new solution is much more compact as an alternative: it total, it is just a few tens of microns and it offers the protection that’s needed. Compared to optical channels in full-optical circuits, the energy consumption is relatively high, as there is quite some scattering of light. On the other hand: designing the electronics around the optical link in an efficient way, the amount of light needed for a successful connection, can be kept to a minimum.
All-optical circuits may become the ‘new electronics’, predictions say. In the transition from electronic to optic circuits, hybrid circuits, like the one Dutta designed, could play an important role.
The Latest on: Electronics and photonics
- Optical fiber polarizer industry's growth documented by top research firm on November 23, 2017 at 12:46 pm
Optical Fiber Polarizer is the most important component Used in Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, Others ... this report covers : AMS Technologies AG, Chiral Photonics, CYBEL, LLC., Thorlabs, DPM Photonics, ELUXI Ltd., Phoenix Photonics Ltd, AC ... […]
- Other materials stories that may be of interest on November 22, 2017 at 3:01 pm
The natural structure also provides a blueprint for creating ultra-durable synthetic materials. When electronics, photonics meet on a standard chip Electronics and light don’t go well together on a standard CMOS chip. But now researchers have succeeded ... […]
- BRIDG gears up high-tech clean room for business on November 22, 2017 at 8:39 am
Soon the labs at BRIDG will start designing and producing innovative, cutting-edge micro-electronics that will be used in sensors and photonics for computers, self-driving cars, medical equipment and other tech. After about $100 million in investment from ... […]
- Photonics Market: Applications and Global Markets on November 21, 2017 at 12:00 am
flag=B&rep_id=863 In 2013, the display market acquired the leading position among application-based segments of the global photonics market and attained a market value of US$128.75 billion. The heightened demand for consumer electronics was the main factor ... […]
- Nova to see more orders from memory clients in 2018 on November 21, 2017 at 12:00 am
Taiwan-based Nova Technology, an expert in integrating water, gas and chemical engineering systems for semiconductor, photonics and other high-tech ... China Star Optoelectronics Technology, and China Electronics Panda Crystal Technology. […]
- Advancing the Path to Organic Electronics Beyond Cell Phone Screens on November 20, 2017 at 10:54 am
“Once the light was turned off, one might naively expect the reverse reaction to occur and the increased conductivity to disappear,” said Georgia Tech’s Marder, who is also associate director of the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics ... […]
- Black Phosphorus Ink Compatible with Inkjet Printers Developed on November 20, 2017 at 10:29 am
researchers hoping to further printed electronics applications are looking for new two-dimensional materials with unique properties. Newer materials, researchers believe, could greatly advance the printing of optoelectronics and photonics using ordinary ... […]
- Connecting The Worlds Of Electronics And Photonics on November 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm
University of Twente researcher proposes using 'avalanche mode' silicon LEDs to efficiently bring light on-chip Electronics and light don’t go well together on a standard ‘CMOS’ chip. But researcher Satadal Dutta of the University of Twente now ... […]
- When electronics and photonics meet on a standard chip on November 10, 2017 at 3:26 am
Electronics and light don’t go well together on a standard ‘CMOS’ chip. Researcher Satadal Dutta of the University of Twente succeeded in introducing a light connection into the heart of a semiconductor chip. In this way, two circuits can communicate. […]
via Google News and Bing News