November 14, 2005 Seattle, WA -- Luxtera, a fabless semiconductor company and provider of silicon photonics, announced today that it has been chosen by Sun Microsystems as a technology partner to develop high bandwidth, low latency DWDM optical interconnects to form the building blocks for future terabit links in Sun's Hero HPCS program. HPCS is the United States' Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) High Productivity Computing Systems program.
Sun and Luxtera will demonstrate a working 40-Gbit/sec optical link based on DWDM at this week's Super Computing (SC 05) conference in Seattle, WA. According to the companies, the link exploits nanophotonic DWDM transceivers built entirely in a standard silicon CMOS production process using Luxtera's CMOS Photonics technology. The two companies say they developed the link as part of their ongoing technology exploration in the HPCS program.
"Silicon-based photonics shows great promise for building balanced ultra scale systems such as those requested by DARPA under the HPCS program," comments Greg Papadopoulos, executive vice president and CTO at Sun Microsystems. "With Luxtera, we have a partner with the unique ability to integrate this level of performance in CMOS, and with a technology roadmap that scales up to terabits of bandwidth on a single fiber with great reliability."
Luxtera says its CMOS Photonics technology offers the massive scalability of DWDM implemented on a single silicon chip together with ultra-low latency, while retaining the reliability and cost structure of standard CMOS fabrication. The company says these capabilities will enable Sun to create a new generation of powerful supercomputers that surpass conventional systems constrained by the limitations of copper interconnects.
"Our working relationship with Sun has been outstanding," offers Alex Dickinson, CEO at Luxtera. "We have a partner that is committed to innovation and understands the importance of silicon photonics. Our DWDM-on-a-chip technology is now operating at 40-Gbit/sec, which is just the first milestone on a path that will deliver huge bandwidth using the natural scalability of DWDM."