Is It Possible To Effectively Integrate Silicon Photonics Into Pcbs?

Silicon is easily compatible with optical fiber networking systems which run at about 1550 nm. 

FREMONT, CA: Silicon is transparent at 1550 nm. Consequently, Silicon is easily compatible with optical fiber networking systems which run at about 1550 nm. Due to this, there is a noticeable lack of detectors or light sources in silicon photonics made directly from Silicon. The characteristic of Silicon to be used as the indirect band gap semiconductors is what causes this.

Integrating a detector and light source immediately onto a silicon EPIC needs bonding of a Ge Layer or an III-V semiconductor directly onto the Silicon. This bonding of III-V materials onto Silicon expands its technical challenges.

If III-V material is used as a source of light and detector, then interfacing them with fiber optic needs a conversion between about 2 microns and a 1550 nm wavelength. For this, a standard 1550 nm transceiver will be placed on the board. The determining aspect concerning limiting data rate will be the III-V material or this transceiver itself.

Considering about 1550 nm of wavelength in the EPIC, this would need placing conventional photodetectors besides narrowband infrared LED light sources or laser diodes alongside the EPIC. The main challenges here include manufacturing and assembly. Moreover, each of these parts also consumes extra board space for each of the EPICs.

An important aspect is the most imperative strategy for effectively integrating EPICs onto PCBs. A source of light, coupled with silicon EPICs, must have a faster response time to be compatible with the quickest electronics logic approach.