This technology is a further development of interconnect polymer waveguides for photonics packaging and integration. Here, a flexible optical substrate is attached and aligned to individual photonic chip components to form an optical waveguide. The waveguide comprises a refractive index contrast (RIC) polymer directly patterned using a photolithography process. The new advance is an optical interconnect for connecting two separate photonic integrated circuit chips (chip-to-chip) as well as coupling. The refractive index contrast (RIC) polymers are suited to a wide variety of photonic interconnect applications for optical telecommunications with refractive and tunable indices. RIC polymer interconnects thus have the ability to access numerous photonic platforms, in particular silicon photonic chips and ion-exchange (IOX) glass optical substrates.
Since the end of clock frequency scaling of microprocessors in the mid-2000s, the microelectronics and communications industries have embraced parallelism to sustain performance improvement. Increasingly, the benefits of parallelism are constrained not by the limits of computation at individual nodes, but by data movement between nodes, the interconnect. This is driving the increased consideration and deployment of optical interconnects, which do not suffer from the bandwidth limitations of their electrical counterparts as most dramatically born out in the tremendous growth of the Internet. A parallel, low loss and inexpensive optical interconnect solution is a highly desirable technology for furthering the growth of the cloud infrastructure, which increasingly involves data center photonics and the basic concept of co-packaged optics.
- Integrated photonic chips
- Enables waveguide connection between chips / substrates
- Lower cost systems