Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silicon helps light go through the right channels: Improved design of lasers on optoelectronic chips

Date:
March 30, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
When it comes to data transmission, light is superior to electronics. An ability to transmit data in parallel by utilizing multiple light wavelengths allows optical fibers to carry more information than electrical cables. Computers are currently based on electronics, but they would benefit from employing optical signals. However, for this to become a reality, it needs to be implemented on a small scale and result in low power consumption.

When it comes to data transmission, light is superior to electronics. An ability to transmit data in parallel by utilizing multiple light wavelengths allows optical fibers to carry more information than electrical cables. Computers are currently based on electronics, but they would benefit from employing optical signals. However, for this to become a reality, it needs to be implemented on a small scale and result in low power consumption.

Related Articles


Now, Vivek Krishnamurthy from the A*STAR Data Storage Institute in Singapore and his colleagues have designed a laser on a microelectronic chip that has a lower power consumption and a higher efficiency1.

"By developing lasers on silicon, we can combine the electronic data processing capability of the microelectronic chip with the high energy efficiency of optical communications over distances ranging from a few micrometers within a chip to hundreds of meters in data centers," says Krishnamurthy.

The processing speed of the microelectronic chip is limited by its power consumption; most of the power is consumed by the connecting electrical wires and links. Optical links, on the other hand, consume practically no energy but are limited by the power consumption of the light source, which is often a laser. For optical links to be feasible on a small scale, the electrical power consumption of lasers must be reduced, yet still be able to generate sufficient optical energy for transmission.

Lasers cannot be made from silicon as it is a poor light emitter. Instead, lasers are fabricated by bonding an active material based on indium phosphide -- a good light emitter -- to a thin silicon film. However, because silicon is better for carrying optical signals, the light from the laser needs to be routed through the silicon chip via optical channels. This requires fabricating optical channels in silicon outside the laser region.

Generating light efficiently in the active medium and efficiently routing it via the silicon layer simultaneously reduces the electrical current required and increases the power generated. Calculations show that this silicon-based design will have a three to four times higher light generation efficiency than competing schemes.

This high efficiency makes the silicon-based laser design promising for making optical chips, which, says Krishnamurthy, is the next step for the project team. "We have begun the experimental demonstration of the laser," he says. "Our plan is to integrate this laser onto our silicon platform and develop a fully functional photonic system for applications, for example, in data communications and storage."

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vivek Krishnamurthy, Qian Wang, Jing Pu, Ter-Hoe Loh, Seng Tiong Ho. Optical Design of Distributed Feedback Lasers-on-Thin-Film-Silicon. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 2013; 25 (10): 944 DOI: 10.1109/LPT.2013.2257719

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Silicon helps light go through the right channels: Improved design of lasers on optoelectronic chips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140330193644.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, March 30). Silicon helps light go through the right channels: Improved design of lasers on optoelectronic chips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140330193644.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Silicon helps light go through the right channels: Improved design of lasers on optoelectronic chips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140330193644.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins