It’s clear that there are increasing opportunities for the application of photonics in the design and manufacturing process for devices, systems, and ICs that are used in high-speed data communications, advanced sensing, and imaging. By using photonic technology, designers can expect orders-of-magnitude speed improvements along with reduced power consumption for data transmission and ultrasensitive sensing capabilities in multiple domains.
Photonic ICs use photons rather than electrons to process and distribute information. In a more traditional electronic chip, electrons pass through electrical components such as resistors, inductors, transistors, and capacitors; in a photonic chip, photons pass through optical components such as waveguides, lasers, polarizers, and phase shifters.
By harnessing light instead of electricity, integrated photonic technology provides a solution to the limitations of electronics like integration and heat generation, taking devices to the next level, with the so-called “more than Moore” concept to increase capacity and speed of data transmission. PICs offer advantages such as miniaturization, higher speed, low thermal effects, large integration capacity, and compatibility with existing processing flows that allow for high yield, volume manufacturing, and lower cost.