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

For optical transceivers, the backend packaging and optical subassembly constitute a significant portion, ranging from 30 to 90 percent, of the total manufacturing costs. Despite the exponential increase in integration density and complexity of photonic integrated circuits, packaging remains a crucial limiting factor for broader technology adoption.

It continues to be a critical research topic in applied research. In this context, co-packaging of optics and electronics emerges as a major trend in current development efforts, particularly in the field of switches for data centers. In such switches, the electrical connections between the switch chip and front-facing optical transceivers represent a significant source of power consumption, as circuits are required to compensate for attenuation and distortion of broadband signals in printed circuits.

As switches move towards 102.4-Tb/s nodes, managing heat becomes increasingly challenging, necessitating the introduction of new technologies for power reduction. By co-packaging electro-optical modulators and photodiodes in close proximity to the electronics, intermediate PCBs and associated circuits can be eliminated. However, this poses a major challenge for the housing, as it must accommodate a large number of fibers in a single enclosure and remove temperature-sensitive and susceptible semiconductor lasers.

Therefore, co-packaged transceivers need to handle laser light whose polarization has been scrambled by the connecting fibers. To address this, we are developing glass-formed micro-optical interposers that can be massively produced in wafer-scale parallelism. These interposers support hundreds of fibers and enable polarization and wavelength diversity outside the chip.