Silicon integrated Photonics for Interconnects, Computing and Sensing Applications

R.T. Chen
Omega Optics Inc. & University of Texas at Austin,
United States

Keywords: Silicon integrated Photonics, Interconnects, Computing and Sensing Applications


Silicon based integrated circuits (SBICs) have been an indispensable elements for our civilization. Each person carries billions of silicon based transistors in our daily lives. IPhones, laptop computers, memory sticks and data centers are some of the most prominent ones we employ on a daily basis. With the saturation of Moore’s law, the silicon based nanotechnology community has to address the critical concerns in power consumption, latency and aggregate bandwidth limitations to come up with viable solutions. In this invited paper, I will address the feasible solutions using silicon integrated photonics to upgrade the performance in interconnects and computing. Further applications using silicon photonic devices for bio-, chemical- and environmental sensing will also be presented. Unlike nano-electronics, the interconnect losses for optical interconnects are bandwidth independent. Furthermore, Bosons (photons) are different from Fermions (electrons) which need to abide by the Pauli Exclusion Principle. Ultra-dense photons can coexist in the same quantum space. A myriad of nano-devices can be realized exclusively in the photonics domain. These include DWDMs, optical waveguide crossings, interleavers, to name a few. In this talk, novel optical interconnect devices for inter- and intra-chip high bandwidth interconnects will be presented with a clock rate above 1 Terabit/sec. Optical computing chip that can outperform electronic counterpart in power consumption, latency and computation speed is under development. Another highly promising nanotechnology using silicon photonics is in bio- and chemical sensing. Using on-chip slow light silicon photonic chip, we have demonstrated early breast-, lung, pancreatic cancer detections, drug screening, water and air pollution sensing. We are in the process of developing a hand-held system with unprecedented sensitivity without compromising specificity. The research teams from Omega Optics ( and UT Austin ( has garnered an IP portfolio of over 20 patents with a business plan ready to release for further commercialization.