Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Europe Focuses Fiber #Optics on #Silicon #Photonics

Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process technology enables silicon photonic components capable of terabit per second speeds on broadband core networks.

The European Union is aiming to lower the cost of fiber-optic communications by developing inexpensive silicon chips that turn photonics into a mass market. Look for fiber optic communications to start taking over from copper wires not only in data centers but in consumer electronics over the next seven years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

Silicon photonics sculpts out optical waveguides on standard CMOS chips, here a filter for optical fibers.

Here is what Smarter Technology says about fiber optics: Today, fiber-optic communications are ultra-high-speed, but also ultra-high-cost compared to conventional copper wires. But by recasting photonics onto silicon chips, instead of the exotic indium-gallium-arsenide compounds used today, a mass market for fiber optics will result. The European Union is planning to play a leadership role. The European Silicon Photonics Cluster is a multiyear, $36 million effort that aims not only to develop the technology but to raise awareness of silicon photonics and its potential applications in optical communications, optical interconnects between semiconductor chips and circuit boards, optical signal processing, optical sensing and biological efforts.
The Cluster is divided into 10 project "consortia," in which most of the leading European research institutes, universities and companies are participating...
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