IBE enables the world’s best brands. Through our unrivalled customer-centric approach, we partner with leading companies in numerous markets to deliver solutions for their most complex challenges.

Gallery
Contacts

IBe Industry Building, ShenZhen, China

ibe@ibepcbaaa.com

+86-75581785031

Electronic manufacturing industry
Phonic chips – what are they and their applications

In recent decades, the microelectronics technology and electronic chip industry have followed Moore’s Law and continued to develop. As the traditional manufacturing process approaches the limit, the technological breakthrough of electronic chips in further improving computing speed and reducing power consumption is facing an insoluble bottleneck. Facing the “post-Moore era”, disruptive technology has become the key to breaking the situation. As a result, photonic chips have attracted great attention because of their natural advantages of higher transmission efficiency and lower transmission loss than electrical chips.

Table of Contents
Why Light Matter Photonic Computer Chip Explained

What is a photonic chip?

Optical chip, generally refers to the use of light waves (electromagnetic waves) as the carrier of information transmission or data calculation, relying on integrated optics or silicon-based optoelectronics medium optical waveguide to transmit guided-mode optical signals, the modulation of optical and electrical signals, transmission, demodulation, etc. are integrated on the same substrate or chip.

photonic chip
photonic chip

Photonic chips mainly include passive optical device chips, optical module chips, etc.

Passive optical device chip

Including PLC optical splitter chip, AWG arrayed waveguide grating chip.

● The PLC optical splitter chip is usually made of silica optical waveguide and glass optical waveguide. It is composed of multiple Y branches in series to realize the coupling, branching and distribution of optical signals.

● AWG arrayed waveguide grating chips consist of two multi-port couplers and connected arrayed waveguides, and are widely used in WDM optical modules, ROADM, and WSS.

Optical module chip
Refers to the laser chip (LD Chip) and the detector chip (PD Chip), which complete the electro-optical conversion and photoelectric conversion respectively. They are the core functional chips of the optical module. They are packaged with filters, metal covers, ceramic sleeves and other components into TOSA and ROSA respectively, and OSA is packaged with PCB, electrical chips, structural parts, etc. into optical modules. The performance of the photonic chip directly determines the transmission rate, temperature drift, working stability, signal-to-noise ratio and other working attributes of the optical module. It is the most important part of the optical module design and raw material procurement.

Photonic chips VS traditional chips

Photonic Chips VS Traditional Chips
Photonic Chips VS Traditional Chips

The difference between a photonic chip and a traditional chip:

● Different industries

Photonic chips are mainly used in the communication industry and are an integral part of communication equipment systems. The chip we often say is a silicon chip, which belongs to the semiconductor industry, such as CPU, storage, flash memory, etc.

●Different computing medium
High-end electronic chips need to use high-precision EUV lithography machines to engrave chip circuits on silicon wafers and integrate tens of billions of transistors, while photonic chips use light waves as carriers for information transmission and data calculations, so a high-precision photolithography machine is not required.

What are the advantages of photonic chips compared with traditional chips?

● Calculation speed

The calculation speed of a photonic chip is about three orders of magnitude, about 1000 times that of an electronic chip. The calculation speed of a single electronic chip is about 7.8TFlops, while the calculation speed of a photonic chip is about 3200TFlops.

● Power consumption

The power consumption of a photonic chip is only one percent of that of an electronic chip. The power consumption of a unit electronic chip is about 300W, while the power consumption of a corresponding photonic chip is only 4W.

Compared with electronic integrated circuits, photonic integrated circuits and optical interconnections show lower transmission loss, wider transmission bandwidth, smaller time delay, and stronger ability to resist electromagnetic interference.

Application fields of photonic chips

In recent years, the application scenarios of photonic chips have been greatly expanded, and photonic chips can be seen in the fields of industry, consumer electronics, automobiles, and national defense. Especially in fields such as autonomous driving, speech recognition, image recognition, medical diagnosis, virtual reality, and digital cloud platforms, photonic chips have been widely adopted.

Photonic chips are booming

With the vigorous development of the optoelectronic semiconductor industry, photonic chips are the core components in the upstream of the industrial chain, and there are many subdivided fields.

According to Gartner data, the global optoelectronic device (including CCD, CIS, LED, photon detector, optocoupler, laser chip, etc.) market size reached 41.4 billion US dollars in 2021, and the market size is expected to reach 56.1 billion US dollars in 2025.

Booming Photonic Chips
Booming Photonic Chips

Photonic chips are currently widely used in communications, industry, consumption, lighting and other fields, and the downstream market continues to expand.

In the field of consumer electronics, compared with ordinary cameras, 3D sensing (including binocular stereo ranging, structured light, and TOF) can detect the depth characteristics of the environment and is widely used in the field of consumer electronics. Photonic chips are used to emit laser light as the basis for ranging, and are indispensable in structured light solutions and TOF solutions, with broad prospects. According to Lightcounting data, it is estimated that the market size of photonic chips in the global consumer electronics field will be nearly 10 billion US dollar in 2025.

In the field of lidar, photonic chips provide laser pulse transmission and reception for lidar. Benefiting from the gradual maturity of advanced assisted driving/autonomous driving technology, lidar has a bright future. According to Yole data, it is estimated that the photonic chip market created by the global lidar market will be nearly 10 billion US dollar in 2025.

Conclusion

Photonic chips are at the heart of modern optical communication systems. As an emerging technology, photonic chips do have great potential and prospects. It uses photons to replace traditional electronic signals for data processing and communication, and has the advantages of high speed, high bandwidth, and low energy consumption. Photonic chips will enable faster and more energy-efficient artificial intelligence programs. With the outbreak of a new round of artificial intelligence revolution, the demand for data centers is strong, driving the rapid growth of communication facilities such as optical modules and photonic chips, and the industry space will be very broad in the next few years.

FAQ

Optical chip, generally refers to the use of light waves (electromagnetic waves) as the carrier of information transmission or data calculation, relying on integrated optics or silicon-based optoelectronics medium optical waveguide to transmit guided-mode optical signals, the modulation of optical and electrical signals, transmission, demodulation, etc. are integrated on the same substrate or chip.

  •  Calculation speed
  • Power consumption

In recent years, the application scenarios of photonic chips have been greatly expanded, and photonic chips can be seen in the fields of industry, consumer electronics, automobiles, and national defense. Especially in fields such as autonomous driving, speech recognition, image recognition, medical diagnosis, virtual reality, and digital cloud platforms, photonic chips have been widely adopted.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *