6 March 2023
Vector Photonics Ltd (which was spun off from Scotland’s University of Glasgow in 2020, based on research led by professor Richard Hogg) is to begin commercialization of an uncooled, 1W, 1310nm continuous-wave (CW) photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSEL), targeted at interconnects, silicon photonics and co-packaged optics (CPO) in next-generation cloud data-center applications.
A 1W laser is said to offer significant increases in optical power over incumbent distributed feedback (DFB) technology, with manufacturing and energy-saving benefits. The 1W laser leverages Vector Photonics’ existing PCSEL commercialization work.
“An uncooled 1W PCSEL is a game-changer for cloud datacoms applications,” believes chief technology officer Dr Richard Taylor. “Currently, next-generation data-center interconnects must deliver 800Gbps, increasing to 1.6Tbps and then 3.2Tbps over the next decade. The 1W PCSEL enables this development, with a significant reduction in the quantity of lasers required over DFB technology. The interconnects, silicon photonics chips and CPO systems, where they are used, become significantly easier to make, with the likelihood of improved yield and reliability. In addition, the 1W PCSEL has a symmetrical far-field, which requires less operational power to achieve the necessary performance,” he adds.
“The full impact of a 1W PCSEL is yet to be quantified,” Taylor continues. “However, these high-power lasers will change the entire architecture of datacoms chips and systems. Further, significant benefits include reduced power consumption, heat, latency and manufacturing costs.”