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Intel Presents Latest Integrated Photonics Developments at 2024 Optical Fiber Conference

ScottBair
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Scott Bair is a key voice at Intel Labs, sharing insights into innovative research for inventing tomorrow’s technology.

Highlights:

  • Intel presents two papers at the 2024 Optical Fiber Conference.
  • A cross-organizational Intel team demonstrates an advanced Optical Compute Interconnect chiplet integrated in-package with a prototype next-generation Intel processor and running error-free traffic.

Each year, the Optical Fiber Conference covers a wide range of topics, including photonic integrated circuits, quantum communications, AI and machine learning in optical networking, data center optics for 800G and beyond, sensing in terrestrial and submarine networks, and space division multiplexing technologies. Intel is bringing some exciting contributions to this year’s conference. Intel researchers will present two papers on integrated photonics at the conference; one work presents the first quantum dot lasers integrated with 300mm silicon photonics, and the other details a fully integrated transmitter which includes a distributed-feedback laser and a push-pull drive ring-assisted Mach-Zehnder modulator.

In addition to the papers, a cross-organizational Intel team will present a live demonstration of an advanced Optical Compute Interconnect (OCI) chiplet integrated in-package with a prototype next-generation Intel processor and running error-free traffic. Intel developed the fully integrated OCI chiplet to address the AI infrastructure’s tremendous need for bandwidth and to enable future scalability. Intel’s integrated laser technology delivers performance advantages and enables true wafer-scale manufacturing, burn-in, and testing. This first OCI implementation gives the industry a look at the future of high-bandwidth compute interconnect. For more details on this demonstration and technology check out the recent blog from Christian Urricariet, Head of Product Marketing for Silicon Photonics at Intel.

Continue reading below to learn more about Intel’s other contributions at the conference.

Feedback Tolerant Quantum Dot Lasers Integrated with 300mm Silicon Photonics

Quantum dot lasers have many benefits over quantum well lasers such as lower threshold current density, higher gain at elevated temperatures, reduced gain competition enabling multi-wavelength operation, and a high tolerance for optical feedback. Among these many benefits, the reduced sensitivity to optical reflections has spurred the interest of many researchers lately due to the potential to realize optical isolator free operation. Removing the isolator, which is currently an essential component in optical transceivers, would reduce the packaging cost and assembly complexity. In this work, Intel Labs researchers demonstrate the first quantum dot lasers integrated with 300mm silicon photonics. The measured devices show a linewidth enhancement factor near zero and are resilient to optical feedback up to -16dB of back reflection.

Fully Integrated Silicon Photonic High-speed Transmitter with Ring-Assisted Mach-Zehnder Modulator

With the unprecedented growth in high-performance and data intensive computing demands, particularly from workloads like artificial intelligence and machine learning, the necessity for optical interconnects in data centers and high-performance computing systems has intensified. Silicon photonics technology provides high-bandwidth, energy-efficient, and highly scalable optical interconnect solutions for both intra- and inter- data center communications. This paper reports a fully integrated transmitter which includes a distributed-feedback laser and a push-pull drive ring-assisted Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM). By leveraging the compact form factor and power efficiency of ring modulators alongside the highly linear push-pull drive of MZMs, researchers demonstrate 224Gb/s PAM-4 transmission with 1.8Vppd differential driving swing and transmitter penalty (TDECQ) of only 1.25dB over a kilometer-long optical fiber.

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About the Author
Scott Bair is a Senior Technical Creative Director for Intel Labs, chartered with growing awareness for Intel’s leading-edge research activities, like AI, Neuromorphic Computing and Quantum Computing. Scott is responsible for driving marketing strategy, messaging, and asset creation for Intel Labs and its joint-research activities. In addition to his work at Intel, he has a passion for audio technology and is an active father of 5 children. Scott has over 23 years of experience in the computing industry bringing new products and technology to market. During his 15 years at Intel, he has worked in a variety of roles from R&D, architecture, strategic planning, product marketing, and technology evangelism. Scott has an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Brigham Young University.