Accession Number:



Silicon Photonics: Challenges and Future

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Several companies and nonprofit organizations within the silicon semiconductor industry have highlighted the technology issues facing copper interconnects for inter-chip, intra-chip, and board-to-board communications. OIDA held a workshop in November 2004 to discuss several of these aspects. Because of the emphasis on silicon photonics today as a potential optical interconnect solution, OIDA held a silicon photonics forum, in conjunction with an interconnect forum, to understand the issues and technology paths being pursued. This report reviews aspects of this subject, provides a synopsis of the information from the meeting, and offers some conclusions. The forum provided valuable insight into the current paths being developed for optical interconnects and the current status of silicon photonics development. The importance of light emission on a wafer scale is essential for new technology development. Several different approaches are being developed today. The oldest and most reliable is the die bonding of qualified laser die onto the silicon optical bench. This approach is based on assembly processing and not wafer processing. The advantage of the silicon industry has been the integration of functions on a wafer scale semiconductor platform. The implementation of light sources into the silicon fabrication process will provide scale to the volume manufacturing of integrated optical devices. The lack of a III-V or photonic industry foundry is a hindrance to the development of Silicon photonics and InP photonic integration. Continued emphasis on silicon photonics is a key area where potential change can be realized. The main issue will remain the development of a low-cost, reliable light source. III-V photonics offers this today, but it is felt incompatible with the current silicon industry direction. Fitting III-V into a CMOS environment provides several challenges and commitment from silicon companies.

Subject Categories:

  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Fiber Optics and Integrated Optics

Distribution Statement: