Leti announced today that
it has demonstrated a fully CMOS-compatible laser source coupled to a silicon
waveguide, a major milestone toward the WADIMOS project's goal of fabricating
silicon photonics circuits in CMOS foundries.
WADIMOS is an EU-funded research project to demonstrate a photonic interconnect
layer on CMOS. Leti's partners in the project, which is coordinated by
Imec, include STMicroelectronics, MAPPER Lithography, Lyon Institute of Nanotechnology
(ILN) and the University of Trento.
Working with a circuit design from INL and Imec, Leti completed the specific
process studies for the laser source to adapt and modify standard III-V materials
process steps that would comply with a CMOS environment. Leti replaced gold-based
metal contacts with a Ti/TiN/AlCu metal stack.
WADIMOS partners at SPIE Photonics Europe 2010 in Brussels will present the
results, April 12-16.
The enormous computing power of multi-processor systems and manufacturing tools
being considered will require data transfer rates of more than 100Terabit/s.
These data rates may be needed on-chip, e.g. in multi-core processors, which
are expected to require total on-chip data rates of up to 100TB/s by 2015, or
off-chip, e.g. in short-distance data interconnects, requiring up to 100TB/s
over a distance of 10-100 meters. Optical interconnects are the only viable
technology for transmitting these amounts of data.
Besides a huge data rate, optical interconnects also allow for additional flexibility
through the use of wavelength division multiplexing. This feature may be help
realize more intelligent interconnect systems such as the optical network-on-chip
system that the WADIMOS project also is studying.
WADIMOS, which is an abbreviation for Wavelength Division Multiplexed Photonic
Layer on CMOS, will build a complex photonic interconnect layer incorporating
multi-channel microsources, microdetectors and different advanced wavelength
routing functions directly integrated with electronic driver circuits. It also
will demonstrate the application of the electro-photonic ICs in an on-chip optical
network and a terabit optical datalink.