Intel Labs touts eight-wavelength laser array on silicon wafer

June 30, 2022
The laser displays output power uniformity of +/- 0.25 dB and wavelength spacing uniformity of ±6.5%, both of which exceed industry specifications, the company says.

Intel Labs says it has developed and demonstrated an eight-wavelength distributed feedback (DFB) laser array fully integrated on a silicon wafer. The laser displays output power uniformity of +/- 0.25 dB and wavelength spacing uniformity of ±6.5%, both of which exceed industry specifications, the company says.

The laser array is built on Intel’s 300-mm silicon photonics manufacturing process. The company believes the laser array can be used in a variety of applications, including co-packaged optics and optical compute interconnect.

Intel says it leveraged “advanced lithography” to define the waveguide gratings in silicon prior to the III-V wafer bonding process. This approach enabled better wavelength uniformity versus conventional semiconductor lasers manufactured in 3-inch or 4-inch III-V wafer fabs, the company asserts. The tight integration of the lasers also enabled the array to maintain its channel spacing in the face of changes in ambient temperature.

“This new research demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths. Most importantly, this can be done using existing manufacturing and process controls in Intel’s fabs, thereby ensuring a clear path to volume production of the next-generation co-packaged optics and optical compute interconnect at scale,” commented Haisheng Rong, senior principal engineer at Intel Labs.

Intel adds that its Silicon Photonics Products Division will use “many aspects” of the integrated laser array technology for a future optical compute interconnect chiplet product. The chiplet will be designed to enable power-efficient, high-performance multi-Tbps interconnect between compute resources including CPUs, GPUs, and memory.

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