SINGAPORE Chartered Semiconductor hopes to leverage a new alliance with a Singapore research agency and a U.S photonics specialist to move high-performance photonic chips into mass production.
The foundry signed an agreement this week (June 26) with the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (Astar) Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and fabless startup SiOptical. The deal calls for Chartered to produce the results of a joint study into the application of optics to silicon ICs.
SiOptical and Astar will collaborate over the next year on the development of CMOS-compatible fabrication technology for silicon-based photonic crystals and circuits, including silicon waveguides, optical
transceivers and related fiber alignment structures.
IME's Dim-Lee Kwong said the two organizations saw "tremendous potential" for the integration of photonic devices with electronics, which would allow computing and optical communication functions to be integrated in a single chip.
A Chartered spokesperson declined to specify a timeline for manufacturing photonic chips, saying only that it "will manufacture these devices once SiOptical and IME have developed the designs and transferred them to Chartered for volume production."
"In the case of the SiOptical-IME project, we will support their time-to-market [requirements] for these transceiver products," the spokesperson said.