Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
 
EE Times-India > Optoelectronics/Displays
 
 
Optoelectronics/Displays  

Silicon-based laser design ideal for enhancing optical chips

Posted: 01 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optoelectronic chips  data processing  laser 

Improved design of lasers on optoelectronic chips will advance optical communications, Vivek Krishnamurthy of the A*STAR Data Storage Institute (DSI) claims. An ability to transmit data in parallel by utilising multiple light wavelengths allows optical fibres to carry more information than electrical cables. However, for this to become a reality, it needs to be implemented on a small scale and result in low power consumption.

"By developing lasers on silicon, we can combine the electronic data processing capability of the microelectronic chip with the high energy efficiency of optical communications over distances ranging from a few micrometres within a chip to hundreds of meters in data centres," says Krishnamurthy. He and his colleagues have designed a laser on a microelectronic chip that has lower power consumption and a higher efficiency.

The processing speed of the microelectronic chip is limited by its power consumption; most of the power is consumed by the connecting electrical wires and links. Optical links, on the other hand, consume practically no energy but are limited by the power consumption of the light source, which is often a laser. For optical links to be feasible on a small scale, the electrical power consumption of lasers must be reduced, yet still be able to generate sufficient optical energy for transmission.

Lasers cannot be made from silicon as it is a poor light emitter. Instead, lasers are fabricated by bonding an active material based on indium phosphide—a good light emitter—to a thin silicon film. However, because silicon is better for carrying optical signals, the light from the laser needs to be routed through the silicon chip via optical channels. This requires fabricating optical channels in silicon outside the laser region.

Generating light efficiently in the active medium and efficiently routing it via the silicon layer simultaneously reduces the electrical current required and increases the power generated. Calculations show that this silicon-based design will have a three to four times higher light generation efficiency than competing schemes.

This high efficiency makes the silicon-based laser design promising for making optical chips, which, says Krishnamurthy, is the next step for the project team. "We have begun the experimental demonstration of the laser," he says. "Our plan is to integrate this laser onto our silicon platform and develop a fully functional photonic system for applications, for example, in data communications and storage."





Comment on "Silicon-based laser design ideal for..."
Comments:  
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:
 
 
Webinars

Seminars

Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

 

Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

 
Back to Top