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Entries in indium phosphide (15)


Oclaro’s 400-gigabit plans

Adam Carter, Oclaro’s chief commercial officer, discusses the company’s 400-gigabit and higher-speed coherent optical transmission plans and the 400-gigabit client-side pluggable opportunity.    

Oclaro showcased its first coherent module that uses Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai digital signal processor at the ECOC show held recently in Gothenburg.

Adam CarterOclaro is one of three optical module makers, the others being Lumentum and NeoPhotonics, that signed an agreement with Ciena earlier this year to use the system vendor’s DSP technology and know-how to bring coherent modules to market. The first product resulting from the collaboration is a 5x7-inch board-mounted module that supports 400-gigabits on a single-wavelength.   

The first WaveLogic Ai-based modules are already being tested at several of Oclaro’s customers’ labs. “They [the module samples] are very preliminary,” says Adam Carter, the chief commercial officer at Oclaro. “The really important timeframe is when we get towards the new year because then we will have beta samples.”

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DIMENSION tackles silicon photonics’ laser shortfall

Ambitious European project seeks to combine lasers, electronics and photonics, all on one chip

Several companies and research institutes, part of a European project, are developing a silicon photonics process that combines on-chip electronics and lasers. Dubbed Dimension (Directly Modulated Lasers on Silicon), the silicon photonics project is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


 The Dimension process showing the passive photonics, dielectric material, BiCMOS circuitry, and the on-chip lasers and modulators. The indium phosphide material is shown in red. Source: Dimension.

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Heterogeneous integration comes of age

Silicon photonics luminaries series

Interview 7: Professor John Bowers


August has been a notable month for John Bowers.

Juniper Networks announced its intention to acquire Aurrion, the US silicon photonics start-up that Bowers co-founded with Alexander Fang. And Intel, a company Bowers worked with on a hybrid integration laser-bonding technique, unveiled its first 100-gigabit silicon photonics transceivers.


Professor John BowersBower, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), first started working in photonics in 1981 while at AT&T Bell Labs.

When he became interested in silicon photonics, it still lacked a good modulator and laser. "If you don't have a laser and a modulator, or a directly modulated laser, it is not a very interesting chip,” says Bowers. "So I started thinking how to do that."

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The ecosystem for silicon photonics starts to take shape

Silicon photonics luminaries series


Interview 6: imec - Philippe Absil and Joris Van Campenhout


Imec has a unique vantage point when it comes to the status and direction of silicon photonics.  

The Belgium nano-electronics research centre gets to see prototype designs nearing commercialisation due to its silicon photonics integration platform and foundry service. “We allow companies to build prototypes using a robust silicon photonics technology,” says Philippe Absil, department director for 3D and optical technologies at imec.


Philippe Absil

Imec also works intimately with several partners on longer-term research, one being Huawei. This optical I/O R&D activity is part of imec’s CORE CMOS scaling R&D programme which as well as Huawei includes GlobalFoundries, Intel, Micron, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Hynix, Sony and TSMC. The research is sufficiently far ahead to be deemed pre-competitive such that all the firms collaborate. 

For silicon photonics, the optical I/O research includes optical integration schemes, new device concepts and new materials. “The aim is to bring silicon photonics technology to the next level in order to resolve today’s challenges,” says Absil.  

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Enabling coherent optics down to 2km short-reach links

Silicon photonics luminaries series

Interview 5: Chris Doerr

Chris Doerr admits he was a relative latecomer to silicon photonics. But after making his first silicon photonics chip, he was hooked. Nearly a decade later and Doerr is associate vice president of integrated photonics at Acacia Communications. The company uses silicon photonics for its long-distance optical coherent transceivers.


Chris Doerr in the lab

Acacia Communications made headlines in May after completing an initial public offering (IPO), raising approximately $105 million for the company. Technology company IPOs have become a rarity and are not always successful. On its first day of trading, Acacia’s shares opened at $29 per share and closed just under $31.

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Professor Graham Reed: The calm before the storm

Silicon photonics luminaries series

Interview 3: Professor Graham Reed

Despite a half-century track record driving technology, electronics is increasingly calling upon optics for help. “It seems to me that this is a marriage that is really going to define the future,” says Graham Reed, professor of silicon photonics at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre.


The optics alongside the electronics does not have to be silicon photonics, he says, but silicon as a photonics technology is attractive for several reasons. 

“What makes silicon photonics interesting is its promise to enable low-cost manufacturing, an important requirement for emerging consumer applications,” says Reed. And being silicon-based, it is much more compatible than other photonics technologies. “It probably means silicon photonics is going to win out,” he says. 

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Ciena shops for photonic technology for line-side edge  

Briefing: DWDM developments

Part 3: Acquisitions and silicon photonics

Ciena is to acquire the high-speed photonics components division of Teraxion for $32 million. The deal includes 35 employees and Teraxion’s indium phosphide and silicon photonics technologies. The systems vendor is making the acquisition to benefit its coherent-based packet-optical transmission systems in metro and long-haul networks.


Sterling Perrin

“Historically Ciena has been a step ahead of others in introducing new coherent capabilities to the market,” says Ron Kline, principal analyst, intelligent networks at market research company, Ovum. “The technology is critical to own if they want to maintain their edge.”

“Bringing in-house not everything, just piece parts, are becoming differentiators,” says Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading.    

Ciena designs its own WaveLogic coherent DSP-ASICs but buys its optical components. Having its own photonics design team with expertise in indium-phosphide and silicon photonics will allow Ciena to develop complete line-side systems, optimising the photonics and electronics to benefit system performance.

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