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The R&D maturity level reached by the Silicon Photonics technology envisions a clear road map fitting the needs and the challenges of the future ICT (Information Communication Technology) systems and services. Four key applications will drive the evolution: intensive computing, broadband communication, mass storage and consumer multimedia. The Silicon Photonics technology, ported in the 300 mm silicon wafer fabs, together with the most advanced package techniques, will offer a low cost manufacturing infrastructure for 3D heterogeneous system integration. Starting from a summary of the peculiarities of this technology, the unprecedented level of miniaturization and power consumption reduction, this paper will address several disruptive applications: starting from active optical cables, going to optical modules, to inter-chips communications, up to intra-chip applications, it will be shown how the Silicon Photonics technology will progressively evolve from 40 Gbps to 3200 Gbps rate, from 20 pJ/bit to 1 pJ/bit dissipation, from 4 $/Gbps to 0.04 $/Gbps cost and from 250 mm3/Gbps to 0.05 mm3/Gbps volume. Furthermore, a picture on how industry is preparing for the massive adoption of Silicon Photonics, by exploiting the existing large scale semiconductor manufacturing environment, will be provided.
Date of Conference: 17-21 Sept. 2012