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Mar 6th, 2013
Startup builds 100-Gbps laser in CMOS
Skorpios Technologies Inc., a 2009 startup developing silicon photonics and backed by numerous telecoms companies, has demonstrated a C-Band tunable photonic laser manufactured using a proprietary process.
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The Skorpios' STAB process delivers wafer-scale, single-chip integration of optoelectronic devices and CMOS, thereby permitting extremely low-cost and scalable solutions, the company said.

The laser was made using the Skorpios STAB process at commercial foundry. The result is photonic CMOS IC that is planar and hermetically encapsulated. Additionally, the Skorpios CMOS laser IC does not require post-fabrication assembly processes such as flip-chip bonding, turning mirrors, lenses or active alignments.

Early characterization of the initial devices indicates they are suitable for datacenter interconnects and for coherent long-haul systems at data rates of 100-Gbits per second, the company said. The benefits include narrow linewidth, high side-mode suppression, a wide range of tunability and no requirement for active cooling or hermetic packaging.

Products based on Skorpios' STAB platform offer an order of magnitude cost reduction compared with previous, equivalent performance lasers, Skorpios said. The laser means that for the first time wavelength-division multiplex (WDM) can be deployed within the data center and it will also reduce the cost of implementing long-haul and metro communication networks, said Stephen Krasulick, founder and CEO of Skorpios Technologies (Albuquerque, New Mexico), in a statement.

Jan Haeglund, Ericsson's head of IP broadband networks, said that Skorpios delivering the first tunable laser based on the STAB process removes the last barriers to achieving a CMOS ASIC-like business model for optics. "We are a step closer to delivering next generation IP networks that are even lower cost and more scalable than today's. Ericsson's 4G IP portfolio will benefit from this pioneering technology in the coming years," he said, in a statement issued by Skorpios.

"This opens a clear path for high photonic integration in a low cost material system fitting ideally to new metro access applications," said Antonio Teixeira, senior specialist at Nokia Siemens Networks.

Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Deutsche Telekom are investors in Skorpios.


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