Engineers build cutting-edge photonic devices using standard chip-making process
The future of computing may lie not in electrons, but in photons – that is, in microprocessors that use light instead of electrical signals. But these so-called photonic devices are typically built using customized methods that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture.
Now, engineers have demonstrated that low power photonic devices can be fabricated using standard chip-making processes. They have achieved what the researchers dub a major milestone in photonic technology. The work will be presented at this year’s Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) Conference and Exposition, being held March 9-13 in San Francisco.
The two new devices – a modulator and a tunable filter – are as energy-efficient as some of the best devices around, the researchers say, and were built using a standard IBM advanced Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process – the same chip-making process used to build many commercially available chips, some of which are found in Sony’s Playstation 3 and also in Watson, the supercomputer that won Jeopardy! in 2011.
“As far as we know, we’re the first ones to get silicon photonics natively integrated into an advanced CMOS process and to achieve energy efficiencies that are very competitive with electronics,” said Mark Wade of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who will present his team’s work at OFC. Wade’s co-authors include researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.
Quenching a Thirst for Power
Moore’s Law says that the number of transistors that can fit on a chip doubles every two years, resulting in the exponential rise in computing power we have seen over the last few decades. But even as transistors continue to shrink, Moore’s Law may be reaching its limits, due to the fact that the devices are requiring more power to run, which leads to overheating.
Such thirst for power is especially problematic for the communication link between a computer’s central processing unit and its memory.
“It’s gotten to the point where it takes too much energy and that limits your computational power,” Wade said.
A solution to this problem may lie in photonics, which researchers anticipate will be at least 10 times more energy efficient than electronics. Chip-to-chip communication links using these photonic devices could have at least 10 times higher bandwidth density, meaning they can transmit much more information using a smaller amount of space. That’s because different optical signals can share the same optical wire, whereas sending multiple electrical signals either requires multiple electronic wires or schemes that require more chip space and energy.
But so far, Wade explains, photonic devices used in chip-to-chip communication have been primarily custom-built using specialized methods, limiting their commercial applicability. And devices that have been created with more standardized techniques rely on older technology, which limits their ability to compete with cutting-edge electronics.
On the Road to Commercialization
The ability to produce high-performing photonic devices using the CMOS process means chip designers will not have to be specialists to design photonic devices, Wade explained, which will hopefully accelerate the commercialization of photonic technology.
The Latest on: Photonics
via Google News
The Latest on: Photonics
- Visual Photonics Epitaxyon July 1, 2020 at 6:46 pm
Epitaxial wafer supplier Visual Photonics Epitaxy Company (VPEC) has enjoyed a ramp-up in demand for vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components for use in smartphones... Epitaxial wafer ...
- The global silicon photonics market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18.23% during the forecast period, 2019-2028on June 30, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "GLOBAL SILICON PHOTONICS MARKET FORECAST 2019-2028" - MARKET INSIGHTS Silicon photonics is a progressing technology that can carry a large amount ...
- Worldwide Smart Camera Market Leadership Study 2020: Featuring Bosch Security Systems, Canon, Flir Systems, Panasonic, Raptor Photonics, Samsung Techwin, Sony, and Watec ...on June 30, 2020 at 4:22 am
The "Worldwide Smart Camera Competitive Analysis and Leadership Study" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The smart camera manufacture landscape is diverse and continually ...
- Global Silicon Photonics Market (2020 to 2026) - Growing Potential of AI-Based Tools for Elderly Care Presents Opportunitieson June 29, 2020 at 6:45 am
The "Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Market with Covid-19 Impact Analysis by Offering (Hardware, Software, Services), Technology ...
- Silicon Photonics Market with COVID-19 Impact, by Product, Application, Component, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2025on June 26, 2020 at 10:17 am
Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.
- Impact of Covid-19 on Nanosecond Lasers Market 2020 | Profiling Global Key Players- Coherent, Ekspla, Jenoptik, Photonics Industries Inc etcon June 26, 2020 at 4:48 am
The Nanosecond Lasers market report is the most important research for who looks for complete information on Nanosecond Lasers. The report covers all information on the Global and regional markets ...
- RIT launching virtual speaker series featuring global leaders in quantum and photonicson June 24, 2020 at 9:49 am
Rochester Institute of Technology is launching an online speaker series that will feature international pioneers in the advancement of photonics for quantum devices. The Virtual Photonics for Quantum ...
- Silicon Photonics Products Market Overview, Industry Top Manufactures, Market Size, Industry Growth Analysis & Forecast: 2026on June 24, 2020 at 12:32 am
Global “Silicon Photonics Products Market” Market study report covers the global and regional market with an in-depth analysis of the overall growth prospects in the market. Furthermore, it gives the ...
- CEA-Leti Announces Demo of Full Data-Transfer Silicon Photonics Module Delivering 100 Gb/s ...on June 23, 2020 at 4:45 pm
According to the company, this demonstration opens the way to technology that allows a reduction in the cost, the power consumption.
- Frederick-based Meadowlark Optics founder’s donation results in endowed chair in optics, photonics at CU Boulderon June 23, 2020 at 12:13 am
A new CU Boulder endowed chair is designed to support research in optics and photonics and is aimed at younger researchers from historically underrepresented groups.
via Bing News