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Jan 14th, 2013
Heterogeneous packaging technology eases integrated photonics
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Suppliers now see emerging heterogeneous packaging solutions for integrating photonics with electronics as a practical path forward to bring optical speeds to the semiconductor industry.

Photonics systems on silicon may be starting to move from the active optical cable to the circuit board for high-speed data communication. Leading companies like Cisco, STMicroelectronics and Luxtera are investing in the infrastructure for what they see as a widely applicable platform, enabled by developments in advanced packaging technology for heterogeneous integration of the optics with electronics on silicon interposers or with ultrafine copper pillar bumping.

Silicon photonics is still a tiny incipient market. Yole Développement figures total sales of these products using active and integrated passive elements on silicon, including transceivers and active optical cables, came to about $65 million last year, and will likely climb to some $215 million by 2017. Some 80 percent of that total is for data communications applications, the vast majority of it shipped by the two main commercial suppliers Luxtera and Kotura.  Yole includes as silicon photonics devices with active elements that generate, detect or actively change light signals, integrated with passive elements like wave guides or filters, built in any size geometry on SOI wafers. They typically include very few transistors –usually just current and voltage drivers, not complex digital logic…. To read the complete story, click Here.

By Paula Doe, SEMI Emerging Markets


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