IBM and silicon photonics

IBM is developing silicon photonics platform for quite some time now, announcing breakthroughs from time to time. By the looks of it, those efforts finally converge towards actual products. Together with intel and of course, already-in-market, companies like Melanox, Molex, Cisco, and Luxtera they paint 2014 as a turn year for silicon photonics.

Optical communication, now for consumer electronics

It was always true, if you need high speed link for distances of meters and more, optical is the way. The difference now is that fast links are now demanded by end users. This will be a huge market . $ 300 is way too expensive, but here is our prediction: Prices will drop dramatically in a couple of years and optical communication in consumer electronics is here to stay.

The promise of the Thunderbolt standard is that it can deliver a lot of data over long distances very quickly for many types of devices. Unfortunately, that promise has been pretty slow to materialize, and the long distance piece of the equation has been particularly painful.

Corning is hoping to turn that around this year with the consumer launch of its Thunderbolt Optical Cables in 10 meter (33 foot), 30 meter (99 foot), and 60 meter (198 foot) sizes.

A Step Closer to a Photonic Future

Mark Wade of the University of Colorado, Boulder:

It’s gotten to the point where it takes too much energy and that limits your computational power
This is a really nice first step for silicon photonics to take over some areas of technology where electronics has really dominated and to start building complex electronic/photonic systems that require dense integration,

Factors driving PSM4 and silicon photonics for data center architectures

Brent Hatfield, Molex Inc.

Single-mode SiPh bridges the gaps caused by the dual requirements of longer distances and higher data transmission speeds. For many customers this technology provides a lower-cost, lower-power option for what can be referred to as medium-reach distances that is future-proof for the next generations of data transmission speeds. With a broad base of products both available and being developed by multiple suppliers, PSM4 and SiPh AOCs can be deployed today to enable new data center architectures, with the assurance that they’ll provide a path to cost-effectively meet future generation upgrade requirements.

Molex is a player in SiPh, so some bias is expected. Still, very convincing arguments.

Southampton Researchers Receive $10M to Bring Silicon Photonics to Market

...However, despite significant progress recently, several key research challenges still need to be overcome to enable the mass production of silicon photonic technology.

These challenges include developing (i) a low cost method of comprehensively testing at the wafer scale; (ii) a passive alignment coupling technique from fiber to optical chip; (iii) a means of scaling the functionality of the photonic circuit; (iv) very low power, high data rate modulators; and (v) low-cost integrated lasers within silicon photonic chips.

I'd switch between (i) and (ii) in importance, I don't understand what they mean by (iii), (iv) is always true (better and cheaper) but i'm not sure the current data rate and power consumption are the obstacles for market penetration. (v) is interesting. It sure is important for WDM, but I wonder if there is no model where there are external light sources (like the chip's electric power supply).

Molex Inc. addressing single-mode fibers Pigtailing problems.


Molex Silicon Photonics Long Reach Pigtails Resolve Key Technical Challenge for Next Generation Data Center Architectures.

Read More From The Connector by Molex:

An original approach for scaling active optical alignment.

Plasmonics, a 'hot' topic!

Great paper by Boris Desiatov Ilya Goykhman , and Uriel Levy from the Hebrew University.- Measuring the temperature of a plasmonic structure. Measurements  were done with a Nanonics Ltd. probe and system. Used to work for Nanonics and these guys were an office away in University, Excellent scientists and good friends - so double the praises.


Introducing Teramount

Without products to offer just yet, we plan to use this blog to interact with investors, potential costumers, technology ehnthusiastics or just curious people. We will share here thoughts and feelings regarding building a company from scratch, news and events and links to interesting posts with our comments and thoughts.

So what is Teramount. Founded in July 2013 and based in Jerusalem (Israel), Teramount is a start up company (Still pre-seed) that operates in a new and exciting branch of electronics - Photonic integrated circuits (PIC). This technology merges the two successful industries of silicon based electronics and optical communication into ultra-wideband communication channels on chips.

We invite you to follow this blog, news of our solutions would first appear here!