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Blaine Bateman

Interconnect & Photonics: Do EEs Need to Go Back to School?

Blaine Bateman
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etnapowers
etnapowers
10/30/2013 10:45:19 AM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@Blaine, that's the point: "This is providing a lot of top quality graduates, although probably not enough!"

In the near future this kind of experts will be very requested but the university  courses have to be focused on mixed contents typical of various disciplines: engineering, physics, informatics...

A direct experience into the laboratories of the companies working on silicon photonics should be a really good integration of the universities courses , I believe that this would form the experts  "who will populate the top positions in the industry for a while" as you correctly said.

 

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eafpres1
eafpres1
10/29/2013 1:16:37 AM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@etnapowers--Education surely is critical.  One good thing is that the possibility of Silicon photonic and other photonic-electronic integration paths has led to a large surge in University work in these areas.  This is providing a lot of top quality graduates, although probably not enough!

You might be interested in the US National Photoinics Initiative.

Of course, it appears to me the Europe combined efforts are years ahead with lots of EU funded work and even the governments working to get all the manufacturing for silicon photonics in Europe.  Imec in Belgium is the center of it all.  I think the programs related to all the EU work will produce a lot of PhDs who will populate the top positions in the industry for a while.

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etnapowers
etnapowers
10/28/2013 11:07:09 AM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@Blaine, you're absolutely right! That's a great challenge for experts of many disciplines and I believe that also the University courses should be adapted, to form a new generation of engineers having strong skills in photonics.

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etnapowers
etnapowers
10/28/2013 11:03:05 AM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@Blaine: thank you very much for your clarification, I'm happy for you agreeing with me about considering the predicted increase in internet data traffic as a key point that will determine the success on silicon photonics technology. So Intel's idea for the next generation of data center is to utilize light waveforms in the parts of the data network that need to have a very high trasmission rate, I find this is a pretty good strategy.  

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eafpres1
eafpres1
10/27/2013 12:31:25 PM
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Re: Re : Interconnect & Photonics: Do EEs Need to Go Back to School?
@yalanand--I agree that Lumerical's software seems to be at the forefront providing a simulation and design platform.  Of course, I expect that the top companies, like Intel, Cisco, Mellanox, Teraxion, etc. probably have their own proprietary models.  Imec in Europe also has a complete platform from simulation to fab as well.

Compared to today's circuit model and semiconductor chip level models I think that photonic models at the chip level are very new.

Can you tell us anything about INTERCONNECT from Lumerical?

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yalanand
yalanand
10/27/2013 7:04:44 AM
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Re : Interconnect & Photonics: Do EEs Need to Go Back to School?
INTER CONNECT is the photonic integrated circuit design software platform that permits for the design, replication and analysis of incorporated circuits, silicon photonics, and optical interconnects enclosing such strategies as Mach Zehnder modulators, arrayed waveguide gratings and coupled ring-resonators. 

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eafpres1
eafpres1
10/25/2013 12:17:02 PM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@etnapowers--I agree with you that the near-future, while advances in photonics are first being adopted in new architectures, will require a lot of multi-disciplinary teams.  There are lots of challenges that even someone fully expert at IC design for high-end processors will have to learn new ideas to design processors with embedded photonics.  Also, the simulation and design tools will evolve, so you have the physics expertise, the electronic expertise, packaging (i.e. chip packaging may change for photonic modules), and software; and probably a few more, all have to come together.  This is potentailly an exciting time for the industry and for technology watchers.  It may also geneate new work opportunities for those with the right skills; that is part of my question as I think soon there will be higher demand for engineers with understanding applicable to photonics.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
10/25/2013 12:12:33 PM
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Re: Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@etnapowers--thanks for all the good comments.  Let me try to address a few of them.

As far as the Si Photonic hardware status for Intel; they have demonstrated completely integrated chips using what they call a hybrid silicon laser.  The light source is the key technology they are pursuing, as it is important to have a way to integrate low power lasers with the chip.  They have demonstrated this from at least June of 2013.  I'm not sure when they will ship production modules but would guess in the 2nd half of 2014.

One point of clarification, the wavelength is 1310 nm (= 1.31 X 103 nm).  I think you might be interpreting the comma as the decimal point based on your concern with reletavistic effects.  The main effect that must be address is low transmission loss.  Most designs for Silicon Photonics are using various forms of silicon waveguides built in CMOS.  Of course there is also the change in propagation velocity in Si vs. free space, which in principle would have to be accounted for, but at chip-scale dimensions I don't think this is important.

The predicted increase in internet data traffic is a key driver.  Some data centers use photonic modules today to convert to optical for long-haul transmission.  The current modules are expensive and consume too much power.  So inside of the data center most data are moving between servers in traditional backplanes or coaxial cable etc.  Intel is looking at the next couple of generations where (a) data from server to server will be optical vs. copper, and (b) when even the server archtecture is split up, and the communication between processor and memory, or from processor to storage, is also optical.  They are working with Facebook on (b).

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etnapowers
etnapowers
10/25/2013 5:13:48 AM
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Have you struck up a friendship with photons yet?
@Blaine:I think that the question you ask in this blog is a good question but it should be updated according to the consideration that physics experts and electronics engineers have to work very closely to engineer this technology and to  make it wide diffused, reliable and modular. 

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etnapowers
etnapowers
10/25/2013 5:02:25 AM
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10 billion gigabytes
The volume of data cited in this blog is so high that I believe that only a photonics technology can guarantee a so great data traffic.

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