Silicon portfolio for next generation of data centres

Silicon portfolio for next generation of data centres

This week, at the 45th European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, together with IDLab and the Photonics Research Group, both imec research labs at Ghent University, are presenting key milestone results in silicon photonics (SiPho) technology development.

The demonstrated building blocks help pave the way for 400Gb/s and beyond optical links as well as for co-packaged optics in next-generation datacenter switches – key enablers for data transmission in future data centers. Highlights include a TSV-assisted, high-density (Tbps/mm2) CMOS-SiPho transceiver prototype, a low-power 106Gb/s PAM-4 SiPho transmitter, a high-speed Ge/Si avalanche photodetector, and ultra-broadband low-loss single-mode fiber couplers.

The exponential growth of the Internet and its associated applications has pushed datacenters to deploy optical interconnects with continuously increasing performance, and ever smaller power consumption and footprint. In the next few years, data center optical links will be upgraded to 400Gb/s capacity, by aggregating four 100Gb/s PAM-4 lanes per link. As a consequence, the aggregate bandwidth to be handled by a single datacenter switch will increase to 51.2Tb/s, requiring ultra-high-density SiPho transceiver technology, tightly integrated and co-packaged with the switch CMOS chip.

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Source: “Imec extends silicon photonics portfolio targeting next generation data centre interconnects”, Hanne Degans, Imec