MANHASSET, N.Y. Photonics specialist Luxtera is teaming with Sun Microsystems on a multimiillion government contract to develop next-generation optical interconnects.
The contract is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (Darpa) Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications program.
Luxtera's technology and silicon fabrication processes will be used to integrate high-performance optics with silicon electronics on monolithic CMOS chips.
The company's silicon CMOS photonics optical I/O technology offers a more efficient way to construct optical transceivers. "They have been extremely successful in the utilization of silicon CMOS photonics and delivering direct 'fiber-to-the-chip' connectivity in commercial products," said Jim Mitchell, vice president of new technology adoption at Sun Microsystems.
Luxtera will supply baseline optoelectronic circuits, tools and device design support to Sun and ultimately Darpa to produce low-power optical transmitters and receivers.
"A key element of our technology is that we enable fabrication of optical and electronic circuits on a common mainstream CMOS chip," said Luxtera CEO Greg Young. "This capability is the key enabler of next-generation, optically interconnected multicore processors and computing systems."
In the fourth quarter of 2007, Luxtera began sampling Blazar, its first commercial product based on its CMOS photonics technology. It will begin production shipments later this year.