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Luxtera achieves performance gains with TSMC silicon photonics platform

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Luxtera has announced that significant performance gains have been achieved in the new TSV-enabled silicon photonics platform in development at TSMC. Announced last year, Luxtera and TSMC have jointly developed a unique silicon photonics platform in TSMC’s 300mm CMOS wafer foundry. Luxtera’s new device library, leveraging TSMC’s advanced process capabilities, has demonstrated the key performance parameters needed to lead the industry in speed, power, density, cost, and SoC integration.

Luxtera has now demonstrated multiple record-breaking elements for silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC). These elements are scalable to high-volume manufacturing and operate at 1310nm and all standard CWDM wavelengths.  Record performance has been achieved for over 50 new device library elements including low-loss grating couplers with losses under 1dB for light coupled in and out of the PIC, low-loss waveguides, high efficiency PM phase modulator with 3-dB bandwidth > 50 GHz that can be built in various system architectures (traveling wave MZI, segmented MZI, and rings to supports NRZ, PAM, QAM), and germanium waveguide photodetectors with responsivity over 1 A/W and 3-dB bandwidth higher than 45 GHz.

These devices are built utilizing TSMC’s world-class process technology using a 300mm Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) wafer optimized for O-band operation. The PICs will then be integrated with Luxtera’s internally developed companion CMOS ICs which will be fabricated in TSMC’s 7nm process. Luxtera’s designs include state of the art TIAs, CDRs, MZI modulator drivers and advanced DSPs that achieve world-class levels of performance and power efficiency. These advancements are crucial in providing customers with a differentiated portfolio of high performance optical transceiver products starting with next generation PAM4 100G/λ single wavelength and multi-wavelength transceivers which commence shipments in 2019.  Luxtera’s latest innovations were on display at OFC 2018 in San Diego.

‘Today’s performance gains are only possible through the teamwork of brilliant engineers at Luxtera and TSMC,’ said Greg Young, president and CEO, Luxtera. ‘TSMC’s industry leading manufacturing capability, coupled with Luxtera’s world-class silicon photonics design, together provide the highest performance and lowest cost optical transceivers available to our hyperscale, cloud, enterprise, and 5G mobile infrastructure customers.’

‘TSMC is very pleased by the results of this development with Luxtera,’ said BJ Woo, vice president of business development, TSMC. ‘We have developed the world’s leading silicon photonics platform and are excited by the potential for performance and scale that this platform will bring to the optical interconnect industry.’


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