OneChip Photonics offers PIC-based 100G components for data center interconnects

OneChip Photonics has unveiled a new family of photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based 100-Gbps devices for optical interconnect applications, particularly those in the data center. The company asserts that its PIC-based approach is superior to alternative technologies, including those based on silicon photonics.

OneChip Photonics has unveiled a new family of photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based 100-Gbps devices for optical interconnect applications, particularly those in the data center. The company asserts that its PIC-based approach is superior to alternative technologies, including those based on silicon photonics.

The company is targeting the new devices at optical transceiver vendors who wish to shrink 100-Gbps capabilities into a QSFP form factor. The products leverage OneChip’s indium phosphide-based Multi-Guide Vertical Integration (MGVI) process, which creates multifunction devices using a single epitaxial growth step. The process requires no post-growth epitaxial processing as well.

The PIC approach provides significant advantages in terms of cost, power consumption, and manufacturing complexity versus the use of discrete devices, OneChip says. The company also says that MGVI is superior to silicon photonics approaches. Because of the difficulty in lasing and detecting at the 1300-nm spectral range that the OneChip devices target, silicon photonics approaches require the bonding III-V semiconductors (for lasing) and epitaxial overgrowth of germanium (for detection). This makes it difficult for silicon photonics devices to be manufactured simply using standard CMOS processes, the company asserts. (But silicon photonic technology developers would likely quibble with this assumption and its implications; see, for example, “Skorpios demos CMOS tunable laser, nears production.”)

The extensive line of 100G products includes:

  • 100GbE LR4 WDM iRx (4x25G integrated receiver), with an 802.3ba-compliant single-chip design, four-PIN photodiode with integrated WDM and spot-size converter (SSC), which is available for testing now
  • 100GbE PSM4 iRx (4x25G parallel singlemode), with a parallel fiber single-chip design, four-PIN photodiode, available for testing now
  • 100GbE PSM4 iTx (4x25G parallel single mode), also with a parallel fiber single-chip design, one DFB laser split into four electro-absorption modulators (EAMs), each followed by an SSC, available for testing Q2 2013
  • 100GE LR4 iTx (4x25G integrated transmitters), with an 802.3ba-compliant single-chip design, four DFB lasers, four EAMs with integrated WDM and SSC, available for testing Q4 2013.

The company also offers a pair of 40G PICs:

  • 40GbE LR4 iRx (4x10G integrated receiver), with an 802.3ba-compliant design, PIN photodiode with integrated WDM and SSC, available for testing now
  • 40GbE LR4 iTx (4x10G integrated transmitters), with an 802.3ba-compliant design; 10G DML with SSC, available for testing Q2 2013.

OneChip also is developing PIC-based 100GbE PSM4 Transmitter-Receiver Optical Sub-Assemblies (TROSAs) for data center interconnect applications.

The company says it is working with partners to optimally package these PICs for specific applications. Meanwhile it has established relationships with Global Communication Semiconductors for InP wafer processing services and IQE to grow its epitaxial structures.

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