Silicon Photonics (SiPh)

MACOM's Commitment to Silicon Photonics

Silicon photonics is expected to be the most scalable optical transceiver technology available while delivering lowest cost per bit for 100G and 400G. Working in conjunction with value-added foundry partners, we're using mature photonics design and manufacturing processes to deliver state-of-the-art device performance. Coupled with co-engineered driver and receiver digital circuits, our photonic and optoelectronic chipsets will deliver optimized solutions for power, size and cost.

Silicon Photonics enables integrated optical communication system solutions

Silicon Photonics Technology

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) is an emerging technology that uses crystalline semiconductor wafers as the platform for the integration of active and passive photonic circuits along with electronic components on a single micro-chip. Silicon photonics is the platform of choice for scalability, low cost and functional integration. With the necessary expertise, the technology enables innovative solutions utilizing silicon optical circuits and micro-optics, while allowing the optimal integration of control electronics and system packaging.

MACOM is focused on integrated silicon microphotonics which uses fine line lithography to realize high density functionality. These technologies combine high performance low power optical devices with maximum functionality and high packing density. Silicon microphotonics, in particular, brings the benefits of high-density, low-cost and performance scalability, similar to silicon CMOS chip manufacturing.

Key Advantages

  • High functionality covering a variety of devices, including modulators, integrated photodetectors, wavelength combiners and splitters, control and vaious optical couplers for I/O
  • Monolithic integration using commercial semiconductor chip foundries enables repeatable, low cost products at scalable volumes
  • High index contrast for compact optical circuitry
  • Strong low power optical modulation due to the efficient plasma dispersion effect
  • High-speed (>50 Gbps) modulation due to speed of carrier transport in silicon diodes
  • Nanophotonic components - ring resonators, filters
  • Integrated photodetectors using monolithic germanium integration
  • Operates in important datacom and telecom wavelengths (O- and C-Bands at 1310 and 1550 nm)

Key Applications

  • 100G/400G Datacom- data centers and campus applications (to 10km)
  • Telecom- metro and long-haul applications (to 100 and 400 km)
  • Ultra short reach optical interconnects and switches within routers, computers, HPC
  • Functional passive optical elements including AWGs, optical filters, couplers and splitters
  • Radio over fiber transport and backhaul
  • Transceiver products including embedded optical modules, transmitters/receivers, and active optical cables (AOCs)
  • Optical signal processing with high performance active elements including VOAs and phase, amplitude and frequency modulators for advanced modulation formats
  • Military/aerospace/scientific sensor, control and interconnect applications
  • Optical switch fabrics for communications and testing
  • Metrology and sensors
  • Medical applications like DNA, glucose, molecular and cellular analysis sensors
  • Optical engines combining optics and electronics
  • Emerging products like 3DICs/integrated optoelectronic chips
  • Consumer – easy-to-use compact cabling for desktop PC, peripherals, home media servers and networked HDTVs
  • Professional video, digital signage, digital cinemas and video recording