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Silicon Photonics

Silicon Photonics is a field of study that studies and applies optical systems using silicon as an optical medium.

We are manufacturing and researching various devices (AI accelerator, beam steering, programmable photonic curcuit, matrix multiplier, etc.) using semiconductors that use optical signals.


Silicon Photonics is the study and application of optical systems utilizing silicon as an optical medium.

In this context, an optical medium means that light needs a medium in order to travel forward, and any medium that allows light to pass through is called an optical medium.

An optical system also refers to an object composed of a series of materials such as lenses, glass, light sources, photodetectors, projection screens, reflective prisms, dispersers, filters, and films.

In other words, it is a system that includes elements such as light sources, photoconnectors, and photomodulators.

(출처: PhotonHub)

Silicon photonics is an application of photonics, which uses photons, represented by electrons and light, to speed up data processing on semiconductor chips.


The advantage is that electrons, which are strong in computation, and light, which are strong in communication, can be integrated into one chip to further improve the data processing capabilities of semiconductors.


Such Silicon Photonics can offer new possibilities to break through the limitations of existing semiconductors.


Silicon photonics is emerging as an ideal technology to construct optical transceivers that can simultaneously process light and electrical signals on a single chip.


An optical transceiver is a device that converts electrical signals generated by a server into light, or converts light signals coming in through an optical fiber into electrical signals.


Configuring an optical transceiver enables communication between servers at 400 gigabits per second (Gbps) due to the low attenuation of light and parallel processing capabilities.

(출처: IMEC)

Silicon photonics is used in a variety of applications that require high-bandwidth data transmission.


This is due to the existence of optical links, which are channels designed to connect two end terminals with an optical fiber or in series with another optical channel.


If optical links were used as connectors for memory chips, they would be incredibly efficient compared to traditional methods.


(출처: Ayar Labs)


The structure of these Silicon Photonics semiconductors is organized as shown in the photo on the left.


The electronic circuits in Silicon Photonics semiconductors look rather complicated, but the transistors and wires in the electronic circuits can be seen as optical modulators and optical waveguides in Silicon Photonics semiconductors.


In addition, a device called a photo detector is used to convert the optical signal into an electrical signal, which can be used as a light source instead of a power source.

(출처: SK 하이닉스)

Silicon photonics is a technology that enables the development of new computing technologies that transcend existing paradigms.


With silicon photonics, we can harness the parallelism of light to create AI processors capable of multiple inferences or quantum computing that pushes the limits of classical computing.


AI processors that can make multiple inferences, or quantum computing that pushes the boundaries of classical physics.It also has the advantage of enabling near-perfect quantum cryptography for security.


Advances in AI technology are placing higher demands on the performance and data processing capabilities of computers.

It's time for hardware to keep pace and evolve its paradigm.

We believe that these demands will be met by utilizing Silicon Photonics to push the envelope and create new technologies.

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