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Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs

Cisco on SDN and power
1/29/2013 02:10 AM EST
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resistion
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
resistion   1/29/2013 4:13:20 AM
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The lasers are still non-Si; they are probably InP or the like at the very least. So it looks like interposers will replace motherboards? That's pretty disruptive. Expect some resistance.

rick merritt
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
rick merritt   1/29/2013 6:07:37 AM
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But not as much resistance as an off-chip design ;-)

HS_SemiPro
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
HS_SemiPro   1/29/2013 6:37:11 AM
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That's the beauty of 2.5D and full 3D designs, greatly reduce system cost improve signal latency

a.sun
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
a.sun   1/29/2013 7:24:35 PM
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The laser is made of InP by bonding a 2-4" InP wafer onto a 6-8" Si wafer (the size mismatch is an issue!) and thinning down the InP wafer to a few micrometers for later planar processing steps. As far as I know, Intel's solution uses separate CMOS TIA & laser driver chips in addition to a Si photonics chip (including functions of photo detection, modulation and optical routing) in comparison to a more integrated solution from Luxtera.

a.sun
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
a.sun   1/29/2013 7:25:23 PM
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The laser is made of InP by bonding a 2-4" InP wafer onto a 6-8" Si wafer (the size mismatch is an issue!) and thinning down the InP wafer to a few micrometers for later planar processing steps. As far as I know, Intel's solution uses separate CMOS TIA & laser driver chips in addition to a Si photonics chip (including functions of photo detection, modulation and optical routing) in comparison to a more integrated solution from Luxtera.

docdivakar
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
docdivakar   1/29/2013 7:27:17 PM
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Rick, the title is somewhat misleading... I think Mr. Swift was referring to planar Si optical waveguides. Using these in 3D optical interconnect, from today's on-chip optical interconnect technology, is still far away from fruition from a practical view point. Last year's DesignCon I think there was a talk by HP Lab's chief about this but it has remained largely as a research project. There is no doubt that this is the next growth area for transistors. Underwhelming SDN/OpenFlow by Cisco is not surprising because it is a disruptor to their legacy products! For those interested, here is the link to presentations from Silicon Valley Comsoc on SDN's by Guru Parulkar & Dan Pitt of Open Networking Research Center: http://ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/comsoc/ComSoc_2012_Presentations.php MP Divakar

a.sun
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
a.sun   1/29/2013 7:29:40 PM
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Unfortunately, the integration of these different optical components like lens and laser can be done in a identical thus cost effective way like 2.5D electronics. Different bonding/soldering techniques and tolerances exist for different components, i.e. laser requires sub-micro placement accuracy. So up to now, it's merely a reduced scale of optical packaging on Si instead of on submount.

a.sun
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
a.sun   1/29/2013 7:34:40 PM
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I meant "can't be done in ...". btw, is there a way to edit one's own posts? It's not uncommon to make typos from time to time. It should be a basic function.

rick merritt
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
rick merritt   1/29/2013 9:01:04 PM
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@Divakar: Thanks for the SDN link. Yes, a potentially huge disruption for Cisco! Swift was so vague it's hard to tell exactly what Cisco is planning with 2.5-D and optics but your guess is more technically informed than mine!

krisi
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re: Cisco packs silicon photonics on 3-D ICs
krisi   1/29/2013 10:04:42 PM
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Sounds like pretty disruptive technology if they can pull it off in mass production...would anyone be interested in discussing it at Grenoble emerging technologies symposium, details at www.cmosetr.com? planning a panel discussion on this topic, kris.iniewski@gmail.com

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