Silicon-based photo detector beats III-V components
The research effort is one of many small steps forward in silicon photonics in recent years from Intel. The company aims to commercialize some of its work in PC platforms in as little as two to three years, said Mario Paniccia, director of Intel's photonics lab who reported the advance.
Intel's APD achieved a gain-bandwidth product of 340 GHz, higher than any previous device made in any process technology. The metric is a broad measure of the component's signal amplification capability at any given speed.
"This is the first time a silicon photonics device has a better performance than a III-V device, in this case specifically indium phosphide," said Paniccia. "We started with goal of getting [in silicon] 90 percent of the performance of [more] exotic materials with an order of magnitude less cost, but we now have a silicon devoice that is better performance than anything measured in indium phosphide," he added.
APDs are primarily used today in relatively costly modules enabling optical links at 10 Gbits/second over tens of kilometers. The Intel APD could support devices with throughput up to 40 Gbits/s at an order of magnitude less cost, Intel said.
In EE Times