Commercial partnership to provide fabless development service for indium phosphide photonic integrated circuits

Jan. 26, 2018
Development service by GCS, Intengent, and VLC Photonics is based on regrowth-free taper assisted vertical integration.

Global Communication Semiconductors (GCS; Torrance, CA), a compound semiconductor wafer fabrication foundry, Intengent (Ottawa, ON, Canada), an independent consultant in the area of III-V photonics, and VLC Photonics (VLC; Valencia, Spain), a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design house, will jointly offer fabless development into production services for customized PICs in indium phosphide (InP).

GCS provides a range of wafer foundry services based on a regrowth-free process in InP. Originally developed as opto- and heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) processes, it also allows for prototyping and volume-scalable production of PICs. The key is a photonic integration platform that is compatible with the foundry's regrowth-free process and that is suitable for a variety of applications.

Intengent has developed such a platform, termed taper-assisted vertical integration (TAVI), which is regrowth-free, based on the GCS process, and enables for decoupling of epitaxial growth and wafer fabrication. TAVI covers many PIC applications, including those in growing and emerging markets, like optical interconnects and switching. It also offers complementary solutions to silicon photonics, considered by many the technology of choice for a high-scale integration, but which lacks amplifying, lasing, and other functions naturally implementable in InP. In a three-way partnership with GCS and VLC, Intengent is working towards making TAVI a generic platform while preserving its flexibility and openness to PIC customization.

VLC Photonics is an expert in generic photonic-integration platforms and, as a fabless and independent design house for PICs, has been developing design libraries and process-design kits (PDKs) for different foundry platforms and customers. A PDK for the TAVI platform reduces the PIC design effort and risk by shifting the focus towards circuit-level simulations. The evolving PDK is based on a number of verified active and passive building blocks and is already used in commercial PIC designs carried out by the partnership.

"Our well-established Opto and RFIC processes have great synergies with the TAVI PIC platform," says Brian Ann, CEO of GCS. "Our 4" and 6" wafer capability as well, based on a commercially supplied one-step-growth epitaxy, creates a unique opportunity for PICs in InP."

For more info on GCS, see www.gcsincorp.com; on Intengent, see www.intengent.com; and on VLC Photonics, see www.vlcphotonics.com.

Source: VLC Photonics

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