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Luxtera Announces Collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor

Published on June 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Luxtera, a provider of Silicon CMOS Photonics, announced its collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor as its foundry source to achieve production of the world's first commercial Silicon CMOS Photonics semiconductor manufacturing process.

For a number of years, the companies collaborated on enhancing Freescale's SOI CMOS semiconductor fabrication process, at its Austin, Texas manufacturing facility, to add photonic circuit capabilities to an existing 130nm electronics manufacturing process. They said the new photonically enabled CMOS fabrication process enables development and manufacturing of low cost Electro-Photonic Integrated Circuits (EPIC) bringing CMOS Photonics to mainstream markets ahead of the competition. Silicon CMOS Photonics is widely recognized as the key enabler of the next-generation of data-networking, computer, multi-core processor, and consumer electronics products.

Silicon CMOS Photonics technology enables design and manufacturing of optics and electronics on a single CMOS die. This process combines standard transistors for digital and analogue electronic circuitry with passive nano-photonic optical structures, as well as monolithic integration of active photonic device elements and enables direct fiber-to-the-chip attachments. The new fabrication process allows the production of integrated single chip transceivers for a multitude of applications. These CMOS Photonic transceivers offer better performance, increased reliability, and reduced power consumption of opto-electronic circuits at a fraction of the cost of traditional optical assemblies.

"By enabling the production process of Silicon CMOS Photonics devices, we are showcasing our forward thinking in advanced semiconductor manufacturing," said Vivek Mohindra, senior vice president of strategy and business transformation of Freescale. "Luxtera is an industry leader in the development of optical CMOS technology. Collaborating with Luxtera, we have become the first fabrication facility to enable the manufacturing of optics and electronics on a single CMOS chip and meet the high volume, low cost application needs of the communication and consumer markets. We are ahead of the competition by achieving the production status and shipping of commercial Silicon CMOS Photonics products based on this process."

"Luxtera has pushed the forefront of the technology and is recognized as the world leader in the field of Silicon CMOS Photonics. By achieving volume production status in Freescale's commercial foundry, we have now demonstrated that CMOS Photonics has emerged from research and is now fully ready for mainstream commercial adoption," said Greg Young, president and CEO of Luxtera. "A key element of our technology is that we enable both optical and electronic circuits on a common mainstream CMOS process, which is the industry's first. Our Silicon CMOS Photonics technology platform provides us with unprecedented levels of cost, performance, power and reliability in optical systems from gigabits to terabits of data."

Luxtera is currently applying this process technology to deliver low cost opto-electronic transceiver products for a number of high performance computing, data communications, and consumer electronics markets. The adaptation of Luxtera's technology by Freescale demonstrates the company's flexibility to customize its manufacturing processes to applications that have large market potential for growth. Luxtera is also involved with projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) program to develop next-generation optical interconnects to produce chip-to-chip and intra-chip interconnect technology for high performance computing systems.

Freescale is a provider of advanced semiconductor technology and its Foundry Services Operation, headquartered in Austin, Texas, offers 200mm development and manufacturing services for a variety of differentiating semiconductor technologies.

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