French research institute Leti has announced the launch of an EC funded project designed to enable the mass commercialisation of silicon photonics based transceivers for use in data centres and by supercomputing systems.
The project, called COSMICC, will combine CMOS electronics and silicon photonics with high throughput fibre attachment techniques. The collaborators says the scalable solutions it develops should provide an order of magnitude better performance than today’s VCSELs. It adds the project aims to achieve a cost per bit target that cannot be met using traditional wavelength-division multiplexing transceivers.
The project’s 11 partners from five countries are focusing on developing mid-board optical transceivers with data rates up to 2.4Tbit/s, allowing up to 200Gbit/s when using 12 fibres. These devices will consume less than 2pJ/bit, the partners claim, and cost approximately €0.2/Gbit/s.
“By enhancing an R&D photonic integration platform from STMicroelectronics, the partners in COSMICC aim to demonstrate the transceivers by 2019,” said project leader Ségolène Olivier, from Leti. “We also plan to establish a new value chain that will facilitate rapid adoption of the technologies developed by our members.”
According to the partners, several developments will be used to boost the photonic integration platform’s performance, whilst reducing power consumption.
One such improvement will be to introduce a SiN layer, enabling temperature insensitive MUX/DEMUX devices to be developed for coarse WDM operation. In addition, the SiN layer will serve as an intermediate wave-guiding layer for optical I/O to and from the photonic chip.
In addition to Leti, the partners include STMicroelectronics, University of Pavia, Finisar, Ayming, Vario-Optics, Seagate, University Paris-Sud, University of St Andrews and the University of Southampton.