Imec demonstrates 28-Gb/s silicon photonics platform

August 5, 2014. Imec demonstrated improved performance of various key building blocks for high-density low-power wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) optical interconnects in silicon at last month's Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon, and Nanophotonics (IPR) Conference in San Diego. The achievements are an important milestone for imec’s fully integrated silicon photonics platform (iSiPP25G) for high-performance optical transceivers, extending the performance towards 28 Gb/s and beyond.

Imec has demonstrated, at wafer-scale, a ring-based wavelength-division multiplexing filter with an improved thermo-optic tuning efficiency better than 1 nm/mW per channel, a thermally tunable 28-Gb/s ring modulator with an efficiency of 260 pm/mW, and a high-speed germanium photodetector achieving an average responsitivity of 0.85 A/W and opto-electrical bandwidth of 50 GHz with dark currents at –1.0V below 50 nA. The devices are all integrated on imec’s iSiPP25G platform and extend imec’s Si photonics portfolio, also including low-loss (<2.5-dB/cm) strip waveguides, highly efficient grating couplers (2.5-dB insertion loss), and 25-Gb/s Mach-Zehnder modulators.

“Imec’s Silicon Photonics platform provides 28-Gb/s performance for integrated photonics circuits for telecom and datacom industries. Companies can benefit from our silicon photonics capability through established standard cells, or explore the functionality of their own designs in multi-project wafer (MPW) runs,” stated Philippe Absil, program director at imec. “Through our MPW offer, fabless R&D teams can access a cost-efficient silicon photonics solution, with state-of-the-art performance, design flexibility and superior CD and thickness control.”

Imec offers the platform for silicon photonics via ePIXfab (supported by Ghent University), Europractice IC Service, and MOSIS, a provider of low-cost prototyping and small volume production services for custom ICs. The next passive run is now open for registration (deadline September 15) with first wafers out in January 2015. Imec’s third active ISIPP25G run is now open for registration (deadline November 10) with first wafers out in June 2015. Support, registration and design kit access will be organized by imec’s services via Europractice IC Service, in collaboration with worldwide MPW partners.

ePIXfab is the European Silicon Photonics Platform co-funded by the EU. ePIXfab is a consortium of partners coordinated by imec-UGent partnership. Other members of the consortium are CEA-Leti (France), IHP (Germany), TNO (Netherlands), Tyndall (Ireland), VTT (Finland), and CMC Microsystems (Canada). For more information, visit


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