Macom, GF strategic partnership to help scale silicon photonics

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Macom and Globalfoundries (GF) have collaborated to ramp up Macom’s laser photonic integrated circuit (L-PIC) platform using GF’s current-generation silicon photonics offering, 90WG, to meet data centre and 5G industry demands.

The collaboration will leverage GF’s 300mm silicon manufacturing process to deliver requisite cost, scale and capacity that is expected to enable mainstream L-PIC deployment for hyperscale data centre interconnects (DCI) and 5G network deployments at 100G, 400G and beyond.

Built on GF’s 90nm SOI technology using 300mm wafer processing, the company’s 90WG enables the low-cost integration of optical devices like modulators, multiplexers and detectors into a single silicon substrate. Macom’s L-PIC technology solves the challenge of aligning lasers to the silicon PIC. Leveraging its patented Etched Facet Technology (EFT) lasers and a Self-Alignment EFT (SAEFTTM) process, Macom’s lasers are aligned and attached directly to the silicon photonics die with high speed and high coupling efficiency, in order to accelerate the adoption of silicon photonics in industrial-scale applications. 

John Croteau, president and CEO of MACOM said: ‘With the demand for bandwidth doubling inside data centres each year, cloud service providers are supply constrained in moving to 100G and beyond. On top of this, telecom carriers are now adopting the same CWDM and PAM-4 optical standards for their 5G Network buildouts. The ability to efficiently scale transceiver capacity and manufacturing throughput is critical. By aligning capacity expansion between GF’s silicon photonics technology and MACOM’s EFT Lasers, and moving to 300mm wafers, we believe that this very strategic collaboration will allow us to meet industry demand and position us to service the industry for years to come.’

Added Tom Caulfield, CEO at GF: ‘We have built an incredible foundation as a leader in providing silicon photonic solutions and advanced packaging capabilities that enable our clients to build a new generation of high-performance optical interconnects. ‘With our deep manufacturing expertise, combined with MACOM’s strong technology, we can deliver differentiated silicon photonic solutions at scale, accelerate time-to-market, and reduce costs for client applications in data centre and next-generation 5G optical networks.’

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