Project "EFFICIENTlight"

Project Partners

aiXscale Photonics UG

GD Optical Competencies GmbH

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT)


Nvidia Corporation

son-x GmbH

Project Details BMBF 13N14964
General Term Packaging

Backend packaging and optical subassembly make up for 30 to 90 percent of the total manufacturing cost of optical transceivers. Consequently, while integration density and complexity of photonic integrated circuits has been exponentially increasing, packaging remains a main limiting factor to a wider applicability of the technology and remains one of the critical research topics in applied research. In this context, co-packaging of optics and electronics is one of the mega-trends of current development efforts. It is particularly promising in the context of data-center switches, in which the electrical interconnects between switch chip and front-panel optical transceivers are an important source of power consumption, due to circuitry needed to compensate for attenuation and distortion of broadband signals in printed circuit boards. As switches move to the 102.4 Tb/s node, thermal management becomes prohibitively difficult and the introduction of new technologies for power reduction becomes necessary. Placing electro-optic modulators and photodiodes in close proximity to electronics in co-packaged solutions gets rid of interposed PCBs and the associated circuitry. It poses however major packaging challenges such as the requirement of bringing hundreds of fibers to a single package as well as remoting temperature sensitive and failure prone semiconductor lasers, requiring co-packaged transceivers to handle laser light with polarizations that have been scrambled by interconnecting fibers. To this end, we are developing glass molded micro-optical interposers that can be fabricated massively in parallel at the wafer scale, support fiber counts in the hundreds and handle polarization and wavelength diversity off-chip.