CompoundTek and NTU working on compact tunable laser

CompoundTek and NTU working on compact tunable laser

08 Sep 2020

Three-year venture between silicon photonics foundry and Singapore’s NTU to develop new sources for comms and more.

CompoundTek, a foundry services provider of emerging silicon photonics solutions, is working with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) on a three-year, joint project to develop “O, C, L-band silicon photonics tunable lasers for communications and other applications”.

One of the primary objectives of the collaboration is to develop a high-performance tunable laser with a compact footprint, that is scalable, high-yield and suited for low-cost manufacturing.

By replacing the commonly-used array of single wavelength lasers with a single wavelength tunable laser, the simplified design architecture reduces existing complexities of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems, and will additionally lower wavelength contention and inventory costs for commercial products, say the researchers.

‘Scalability and cost-effectiveness’

In their launch statement, the partners say, “Today’s silicon photonics platform offers scalability, cost-effectiveness and manufacturability of the mature Si CMOS process. However, one of the key disadvantages of SiPh is the non-availability of highly-efficient silicon laser integrated with SiPh circuits.

“Hybrid SiPh, integrating SiPh devices with III-V compound semiconductor optical amplifier, offers the best of both worlds – enabling low propagation loss and high integration densities while providing efficient optical gain and flexibility for spectral engineering. This integration is one of the key research areas at NTU’s Photonics Institute.”

Since its launch in 2017, CompoundTek says it has gained more than 20 global commercial customers in over nine countries and over 20 leading research institutes and universities in applications such as telecommunications, automotive LiDAR, data communications, bio-sensing and bio-medical, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and smart sensors.

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