Tower Semiconductor, the foundry of high value analog semiconductor solutions, and Anello Photonics, the developer of the Silicon Photonic Optical Gyroscope (SiPhOGTM), today announced a strategic partnership for a new low-loss Silicon Optical Waveguide technology and manufacturing process. The foundry version of the process will enable adoption in a wide range of markets such as including automotive LiDAR, bio-sensing, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, microwave photonics and optical communications requiring complex integration of high-performance optical devices.
The new low-loss Silicon Nitride waveguide process approaches 0.005dB/cm propagation loss at 1550nm wavelengths with less than 1mm bend radius. This novel process delivers one to two orders of magnitude lower loss than other commercial foundry processes at a compact bend radius for both 1550nm and 1310nm wavelengths. The combination of low loss along with small bend radius enables fabrication of a new class of high performing devices, including long (>10m) delays lines and tiny on-chip resonators with high quality factors (high-Q) surpassing 100 million. A range of optical applications such as automotive LiDAR, bio-sensing, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, microwave photonics and optical communications could all benefit from the breakthrough capabilities delivered by this new low-loss process.
“Silicon photonics is most strategic for Tower being a singular enabler in numerous fast-growing end-markets. Tower invests heavily in this area,” said Russell Ellwanger, Tower Semiconductor CEO. “Working with Dr. Paniccia and his colleagues at Anello is an example of how Tower selectively partners with industry proven experts to develop and scale process technology with figures of merit otherwise unheard of, converting dreams into present realities.”
Anello Photonics and Tower Semiconductor have developed this process over the last eighteen months, and Anello’s SiPhOG gyroscope utilizes the process to directly replace the optical fiber found in a traditional Fiber Optic Gyroscope. A foundry version of this process is being offered by Tower to its customers beginning in Q1 2022.
“This announcement represents a breakthrough in low-loss optical transmission on silicon, enabling a variety of new silicon-based products previously not considered practical with integrated photonics fabrication technology”, said Mario Paniccia, CEO and Co-Founder of Anello. “We are excited to work with Tower to industrialize this process for use in Anello’s SiPhOG products and to meet other select Tower customer needs.”