Frequently Asked Questions

HIP is the merging of Photonic Integrated Circuits with Electronic Integrated Circuit components to enable extremely small and efficient interface and control for multiple channels of Wavelength Division Multiplex (WDM) data or signals over single-mode fiber optics.

Electrons moving in copper wire have limitations in speed, heat generation, power consumption, and radiation that are not a problem for photons moving in fiber optic materials. To solve the problem of bottlenecks in communication links (interconnects) and computers, optical fiber and photonic devices provide a much faster, cheaper, and lower power medium than traditional copper wire and CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) circuits.

APIC integrates complex optical components together with complex electronics in a single CMOS-like chip, using a silicon Si on Insulator substrate (SOI), a relatively inexpensive material. The process and wafer production are fully scalable and represent the patented intellectual property of APIC.

All major telecommunications networks use fiber optic cables and some photonic connection and interface devices. However, commercial telecom industry does not need optical devices that can handle the rigorous environment of the military.

The benefit is in applying revolutionary new capabilities of photonic components with the well-known CMOS process and materials. APIC photonic chips, integrated in silicon with a CMOS process, combine the massive computational power of standard electronics with the virtually unlimited bandwidth of fiber optic communications, resulting in a cost per transmitted bit that is much lower than electronics.

Current electronically intereconnected multicores can only communicate to and process information from one other core at a time. Since FLIP cores are optically interconnected, any single core can communicate with every other core simultaneously. FLIP solves the latency problem of electronic multicores.


  Copper   Multimode Fiber   Single-Mode Fiber
  Size/weight/power requirements   Cannot scale to needs; high cost,
diminishing returns
  Low   Low
  Bandwidth   Limited   High   High
  Dense Wave Division Multiplex (WDM)   No   No   Yes
  Susceptibility to EMI   High   None   None
  Upgrade Potential   Low   Low   High
  Network Solution   No   No   Yes
  Compatible w/ Optical Amplifiers   No   No   Yes
  Wideband Analog Over Fiber?   No   No   Yes
  Tunable Components   No   No   Yes
  Single Chip CMOS integration   No   No   Yes
  Processors With Integrated Optical Bus   No   No   Yes
  Inter- and Intra-chip Optical Interconnect   No   No   Yes
  Multi-level Security   No   No   Yes