Silicon photonics

FEATURE

Integrating Europe’s silicon photonics supply chain

Before silicon photonics can fulfil its commercial potential – providing low-cost, high-speed optical devices for connecting servers and switches inside data centres – it must overcome many challenges. One is getting the chips made. The technology is well established, but the manufacturing processes have yet to reach a level of maturity sufficient to enable silicon photonics to make a seamless transition to industrial-scale production.

FEATURE

Silicon photonics extends its reach

The optical communications market is undergoing a seismic shift. This is driven in part by the emerging role of internet content providers who have established themselves not only as leading users of interconnect technology, but also as a disruptive force aggressively transitioning the market toward a fast-paced cloud, software-driven, and data centre-optimised design model. The widespread adoption of cloud-based services is leading to a tremendous increase in deployed capacity and a fast ramp-up of 100 Gigabit Ethernet, small form factor, short-reach interconnects.

FEATURE

The problem with packaging

At a time when internet giants are demanding faster and cheaper optical networking products for their data centres, silicon photonics has yet to deliver. At this year’s Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) in Los Angeles, Facebook network architect, Yuval Bachar, again called for optical links priced at $1 per gigabit running over singlemode fibre. Yet commercial development of silicon photonics products isn’t progressing fast enough to keep up with the industry’s desires.

Feature

Oleg Khaykin, CEO of Viavi Solutions, speaks candidly to Fibre Systems about how to compete in the challenging world of communications test and measurement

Feature

Hao Dong describes how innovative optical fibres and cabling could provide substantial benefits for connecting data centres across a wide range of distances

Feature

Richard Ednay considers whether fibre characterisation needs to be modified to suit modern optical communication systems that are likely to include coherent transmission

Feature

ECOC is the place to be to discover the latest technological and commercial innovations in optical components and networks. Here we highlight some of the exhibitors and events taking place in the exhibition hall.