Silicon Photonics: present challenges and opportunities for the future
DEI PhD Student
DEI - Policom
11 Novembre 2011
In the last decades interconnects field radically changed and we are witnessing the limitations of copper as an interconnect medium (in terms of its loss, dispersion, crosstalk and fundamental speed) are becoming increasingly clear with scaling of complexity and bandwidth. Long distance links, national backbones and metropolitan networks are currently equipped with optical fibers but in the near future problems will rise also in very short distance links (rack-rack, board-board, inter-chip, intra-chip). Here recent bandwidth improvements in electronic interconnects have been achieved at the expense of increased latency and power consumption. Optical interconnects could bring several major advantages over their electrical counterparts, allowing high data rates, reduction of electromagnetic interference, complexity in device design, optimized cooling, energy saving, precise signal timing and interconnect densities reducing. In this scenario silicon based technologies could provide compact components, mature process derived from years of development in the electronics industry, integration with standard CMOS electronics and allow cost reduction, improved performances and great functionalities. This talk (based on Silicon Photonics Summer School that took place in July at St.Andrews University) is about motivations and present challenges, whose solution could generate great opportunities for the future of silicon photonics.
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