BinOptics touts silicon photonics advances

BinOptics Corp. says it has successfully incorporated its patented Etched Facet Technology (EFT) into a variety of silicon photonic applications.

BinOptics Corp. says it has successfully incorporated its patented Etched Facet Technology (EFT) into a variety of silicon photonics applications.

BinOptics CEO Alex Behfar conceived and co-invented EFT while pursuing a PhD at Cornell's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Using EFT to creating indium-phosphide (InP) based lasers and other photonic components provides better performance, reproducibility, reliability, and quality than conventional cleaving processes at affordable manufacturing costs, the company asserts. More than 40 million lasers created via EFT have shipped since Behfar co-founded BinOptics in 2000, the company asserts.

The company has now turned its attention to applying EFT to silicon photonics applications, in particular the joining of an efficient, reliable, and non-hermetic photonic source with silicon photonics circuits. In particular, silicon photonics applications face challenges with reproduction, flexibility, integration, and performance. BinOptics says it has fabricated semiconductor lasers and other photonic elements on InP that overcome these obstacles. In particular, EFT supports perpendicular surface emission and precise facet formation for passive alignment, all with high yields.

"Our customers have experienced the benefits of our EFT produced lasers for a long time and across a wide variety of applications, but only recently have they been aggressively exploring the unique benefits of our EFT offerings in silicon photonics applications," said Behfar. "EFT is solving a new set of unique challenges as organizations look for solutions to enable the next generation of computing. Many industry experts expect chip-to-chip and on-chip photonics to be the most significant technology impacting the future of computing."

"Active alignment of a light source to the silicon photonics chip is a costly process, requiring extremely expensive equipment," adds Prof. Jonathan Klamkin, Director of the Integrated Photonics Laboratory at Boston University. "With EFT, BinOptics found a way to reap the cost and efficiency benefits of passive alignment without sacrificing the accuracy associated with real-time active alignment. This should be a critical factor for companies seeking economical, large-scale rollout of silicon photonics applications."

"We needed an experienced but innovative InP partner who could provide a reliable, easy-to-integrate, non-hermetic light source for our silicon photonics platform," said Dr. Mehdi Asghari, CTO, of Kotura (recently acquired by Mellanox). "BinOptics provided us with the fastest path to market for our new 100 Gbps optical engine, exceeding our expectations in every way."

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