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Tower integrates QD lasers

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Company achieves heterogeneous integration of GaAs QD laser on high-volume SiPho foundry platform

Tower Semiconductor, in collaboration with Quintessent, has announced the world’s first heterogeneous integration of GaAs quantum dot (QD) lasers and a foundry silicon photonics platform (PH18DB).

This PH18DB platform is targeted for optical transceiver modules in data centres and telecom networks, as well as new emerging applications in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, LiDAR and other sensors.

The new PH18DB platform offers GaAs based quantum dot lasers and semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) built on Tower’s high-volume base PH18M silicon photonics foundry technology, that includes low loss waveguides, photodetectors, and modulators heterogeneously integrated on a single silicon chip.

According to Tower, this platform will enable dense photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that can support higher-channel count in small form factor. Open foundry availability of this 220nm SOI platform will provide access to a broad array of product development teams, to simplify their PIC design through use of laser and SOA pcells, in addition to the feature rich baseline PH18 process.

Initial process design kits (PDK) for PH18DB have been made available in partnership with DARPA under the Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) program, which aims to bring high-performance lasers to advanced photonics platforms for commercial and defense applications, and MPWs are planned for 2023 and 2024.

This PH18DB platform complements Tower’s previously announced, and now prototyping, PH18DA platform that offers heterogeneously integrated InP lasers, modulators and detectors.

This work was funded, in part, by the US Government under the DARPA LUMOS program.

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