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Imec Joins Forces With Sivers Photonics and ASM AMICRA to Accelerate Hybrid Integration of InP Lasers and Amplifiers with Silicon Photonics

LEUVEN (Belgium), June 4, 2021— This week, imec, a world-leading
research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital
technologies, together with Sivers Photonics (formerly CST Global, and a
subsidiary of Sivers Semiconductors), a UK-based high-volume
manufacturer of III-V compound semiconductors for photonics products,
and ASM AMICRA Microtechnologies, a worldwide leading supplier of
ultra-high precision die attach equipment, announce the successful
wafer-scale integration of indium-phosphide (InP) distributed feedback
(DFB) lasers from Sivers’ InP100 platform onto imec’s silicon photonics
platform (iSiPP). Using ASM AMICRA’s latest NANO flip-chip bonder tool,
the InP DFB laser diodes were bonded onto a 300mm silicon photonics
wafer with an alignment precision within 500nm, enabling reproducible
coupling of more than 10mW of laser power into the silicon nitride
waveguides on the silicon photonics wafer. Supported by its partners,
imec will offer this technology later in 2021 as a prototyping service,
thereby accelerating the adoption of silicon photonics in a wide range
of applications from optical interconnects, over LiDAR, to biomedical
sensing.

Many silicon photonic systems today still rely on external light
sources, owing to the lack of efficient on‐chip light sources. Silicon
itself does not emit light efficiently and, therefore, light sources
made of III-V semiconductors, such as indium-phosphide (InP) or
gallium-arsenide (GaAs), are typically implemented as separately
packaged components. However, these off‐chip lasers often suffer from
higher coupling losses, a large physical footprint and a high packaging
cost.

Together with its partners Sivers and ASM AMICRA, imec is extending its
silicon photonics prototyping services to include high-precision
flip-chip integration capability of InP lasers and amplifiers. In the
recently completed development phase, C-band InP DFB lasers have been
passively aligned and flip-chip bonded onto 300mm silicon photonics
wafers with ultra-high alignment precision within 500nm (three-sigma
value), resulting in reproducible on-chip waveguide-coupled laser power
beyond 10mW. Throughout the second half of 2021, the hybrid integration
portfolio will be extended with reflective semiconductor optical
amplifiers (RSOA), leveraging the etched-facet capability of Sivers’
InP100 technology, and ASM AMICRA NANO’s superior bonding alignment
precision. This capability will enable advanced, external cavity laser
source types, as required for emerging optical interconnect and sensing
applications, and will become available in early 2022.

Joris van Campenhout, Optical I/O Program Director at imec: “We are very
pleased to be working with Sivers Photonics and ASM AMICRA to extend our
silicon photonics platform with hybrid integrated laser sources and
amplifiers. This additional functionality will enable our joint
customers to develop and prototype advanced photonic integrated circuits
(PICs) with capabilities well beyond what we can offer today, in key
areas such as datacom, telecom and sensing.”

Billy McLaughlin, Sivers Photonics Managing Director: “We’re excited to
work with imec and ASM AMICRA on the development of advanced integrated
photonic components. The availability of InP laser sources, designed and
fabricated on our InP100 manufacturing platform, will boost the adoption
of silicon photonic circuits for a wide variety of commercial applications.”

Dr. Johann Weinhändler, ASM AMICRA Managing Director: “Our strength in
high-precision placement seamlessly complements the expertise of all
partners. With automated and ultra-precise flip-chip bonding, the way to
high-volume manufacturing of these hybrid assemblies is open.”

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