How We Do It

Optical Interconnects

“Interconnect delay has moved to the forefront as the limiting factor in IC performance.” — EE Times

The cornerstone of APIC’s technology lies in its development of novel optical interconnect architectures that promise to supplant copper wiring in carrying data from board to board, from chip to chip, and, from one core to another within a single chip.

As data rates within microelectronic systems increase, the bandwidth of traditional copper interconnects is increasingly constrained by signal distortion, power consumption, and cross-talk. Optical interconnects offer higher bandwidth, lower latency, and diminished power consumption along with a lack of vulnerability to EMI. If optical interconnects are to be a viable and cost-effective alternative, however, they must be fabricated in a manner that is compatible with electronic circuitry.

APIC is answering the need for high-performance optical interconnects by using SOI substrates, rather than higher-cost material, to pursue optical interconnect designs that are at once high speed and low cost.

On-chip Optical Interconnect

On-chip Optical Interconnect

Photonic Building Blocks

Sixteen-channel, 10-Gbps-per-channel data-rate digital receiver. Left: Layout and subcomponent details. Right: Fabricated device without the cover lid.
Sixteen-channel, 10-Gbps-per-channel data-rate digital receiver. Left: Layout and subcomponent details. Right: Fabricated device without the cover lid.
Sixteen-channel laser array emitting from 1530 to 1550 nm. Left: Microscopic image of the laser chip array. Right: Packaged device with contact fan-out.
Sixteen-channel laser array emitting from 1530 to 1550 nm. Left: Microscopic image of the laser chip array. Right: Packaged device with contact fan-out.
The creation of integrated photonic circuits requires the stringing together of individual “building blocks” of functional elements in appropriate sequences. This requires a combination of photonic design, analysis of optical power budgets, and material science and an understanding of compatible fabrication techniques. APIC Corp. possesses capabilities that span all of these areas. Shown to the left are devices recently developed by APIC.