Key Emerging Trends in Silicon Photonics

The Silicon Photonics Market was valued at USD 626.8 Million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 1,988.2 Million by 2023, at a CAGR of 20.8% during the forecast period, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.

How growing government and stakeholder funding offers an opportunity?

Funding provided by various governments in silicon photonics offers tremendous opportunities for the further growth of this market. In recent years, the government funding has increased significantly as silicon photonics offers various advantages—it can transmit data at high speeds and consumes less power. In December 2017, Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech in Grenoble, France, integrated hybrid III-V silicon lasers into 200 mm wafers using standard CMOS process flow.

In July 2017, Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC) (UK), funded Rockley Photonics (UK) to form a ‘Prosperity Partnership’ with the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). This USD 6.65 million-partnership was intended to support research on silicon photonics technology and how it can be used to improve data centre communication networks and support a new integrated photonics platform for broader mass market applications.

Why component integration into a small circuit could act as a challenge?

To integrate various silicon photonics components into an integrated circuit at 220 nm is a critical task. Also, due to the thermal effect, it poses a big challenge to embed the components at nanometer scale. Silicon photonics devices are highly sensitive to waveguide dimensions, which requires nm-scale control over a full wafer and have a large variation in silicon refractive index. It is possible to overcome this challenge with active tuning and temperature control, but this can severely impact the power consumption of the optical link.

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