January 16, 2007, Glen Allen, VA--CIR, an industry analyst firm, has issued a new research note on the commercial and technical prospects for silicon photonics. The analysis in the report is based on research from CIR's forthcoming report on optical components, which will be released in February.
CIR's research note concludes that, unlike earlier attempts at optical integration, silicon photonics represents a technically superior solution that is finely attuned with the needs of today's marketplace and will be a key enabler for next generation optical components. Driven by video applications, the network has now begun to see a resurgence of optical networking deployment. CIR believes that to provide the flexible and pervasive high-bandwidth demands of today's networks, the market must be able to come up with low-cost optical components that offer high data rates, low latency and loss and agility with regard to where that bandwidth is directed. This is the promise of silicon photonics.
The CIR white paper notes that for high-performance applications silicon photonics may never be able to match the power of optical integration using InP or GaAs as a materials platform, but that the ability to use standard CMOS technology should be a powerful factor driving down the cost of silicon photonics products. Already, in the lab, researchers have applied silicon photonics to lasers, detectors, amplifiers, modulators, and waveguides.
CIR believes that current developments in silicon photonics indicates a phased timetable for silicon photonics, beginning with current deployments of silicon waveguides for VOAs, then going on to the use of silicon photonics to radically reduce the cost of 10 GigE and improve the data rates in computer interconnects.
The paper is available for download from CIR's website at http://www.cir-inc.com.