Samtec, a supplier of high-speed interconnects, microelectronics, and micro-optical solutions, has announced its entrance in the Silicon Photonics Program of the IRT Nanoelec, headed by CEA-Leti. Samtec is joining CNRS, STMicroelectronics, Mentor Graphics and CEA-Leti to develop and industrialise optical communications solutions using silicon photonics technology for addressing data centers and high-performance computing applications.
Officials from all parties expressed their enthusiasm. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to join the Silicon Photonics Program of the IRT Consortium,” said Marc Verdiell, CTO of the Samtec Optical Group. “Samtec brings its vast experience in optical transceiver technology, and advanced optical packaging and support to this program. This technology will strengthen Samtec’s expertise in high data rate applications from 28 Gbps, to 56 Gbps, and beyond, as well as allow further photonics integration for higher density, higher bandwidth, and lower cost per Gb optical interconnects.”
Verdiell added, “This technology can be used to enhance Samtec’s active optical products such as FireFly. FireFly Micro Flyover System gives designers a choice of using either micro footprint high-performance active optical engines or lower-cost copper interconnects. This allows the designer to upgrade from electrical to optical using the same interconnect system. With a 28 Gbps system in development, the currently released optical FireFly is a x12, 14 Gbps per channel, unidirectional or bidirectional transceiver system. It has the highest 14 Gbps bandwidth density available with an aggregate 168 Gbps.”
The IRT Nanoelec Silicon Photonics Program was launched in 2012. It brings together, under one roof, the expertise, tools and equipment needed for the development of silicon photonics technology and associated solutions for optical communications. Mentor Graphics, STMicroelectronics, CNRS and CEA-Leti were the core members of the consortium.
“The participation of the new partner Samtec within the Silicon Photonics Program is highly valuable, as Samtec will bring strong and complementary skills in optical and high-speed electrical packaging to our current consortium,” said Sylvie Menezo, director of the program. “The consortium is now gathering research institutes counted among the pioneers in silicon photonics and major industrial players over the complete value chain (silicon foundry, EDA, packaging). This is a key factor for success in developing innovative and cost-effective solutions.”