NTU EEE and CompoundTek Signs RCA on Silicon Photonics

Singapore, Sep 05, 2018 – Nanyang Technological University (NTU) continues to invest and enlarge its global silicon photonics (SiPh) collaborations by recently signing a Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) on Silicon Photonics with CompoundTek Pte Ltd, to further enhance the industry’s commercialised Si-photonics fab process targeting O-band and C-band optical communication as well as sensors.

 “There has been a data traffic demand explosion mainly due to the mobile internet. As such, there is tremendous pressure on the design of next generation telecom equipment with increased flexibility, processing capacity and bandwidth density. At the same time, the solution must be delivered at a lower cost, reduced power consumption, and smaller size,” said Paul Chia, Head of Sales and Marketing at CompoundTek.

“We believe that silicon photonics is the solution to optical devices that can deliver much higher data throughput at a lower cost.  CompoundTek delivers the advantage of low cost production in a conventional 8-inch silicon CMOS commercial fab, that is proven for high volume commercial production. In short, we deliver the best of NTU’s advanced process technology know-how, as well as the efficiency and flexibility of a commercial foundry.” he added.

While silicon is opaque in the visible spectrum, it is transparent at infrared wavelengths, so it is good at guiding light. The telecom standard in fibre-optics communication is mainly conducted in the wavelength region where optical fibres have small transmission loss, and they are in the O-band and C-band wavelengths. This low-loss wavelength region ranges from 1260 nm to 1625 nm and is divided into five wavelength bands referred to as the O-, E-, S-, C- and L-bands. Among these five bands, the O-band (original band: 1260-1360 nm) was historically the first wavelength band used for optical communication, because signal distortion (due to chromatic dispersion) is minimum. It was also because optical fibres produced in the mid 1970s showed its lowest loss near the O-band.

Today, optical fibres show its lowest loss in the C-band (conventional band: 1530-1565 nm), and thus, is commonly used in many metro, long-haul, ultra-long-haul, and submarine optical transmission systems combined with the wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) and erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFA) technologies.

The research will be jointly performed by NTU School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering’s (NTU EEE) research staff and CompoundTek’s engineers.  “NTU will bring its experience in the design of Si-photonics and full characterisation capability in the wavelength range from O- and C-Band to Mid-infrared,” said NTU EEE Professor Wang Hong, NTU’s silicon photonics expert.

Dr. Wang Hong (left) of NTU and Paul Chia (right) of CompoundTek holds an 8″ Silicon Photonics wafer.

This collaboration will enhance CompoundTek’s 200mm 180-110nm foundry process capabilities and know-how which includes patents, IPs, trademarks, and trade secrets.

This new RCA will also strengthen CompoundTek’s ability to support future customer requirements in Si-photonics chips manufacturing and to develop their next generation SiPh capabilities for telecom and datacom applications.


About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is an autonomous research university in Singapore with extensive investment and development focus in SiP. NTU is consistently ranked amongst the world’s best universities in all of the major college and university rankings and is regarded as one of the top universities in the world. In the 2018 QS World University Rankings, NTU is ranked 12th in the world and 1st in Asia.

About CompoundTek Pte Ltd

CompoundTek provides silicon photonics enhanced foundry services to convert customer designs into reality with proprietary manufacturing processes in dedicated 8” CMOS foundry. The fab supports fast turn-around full reticle field or Multi Project Wafers (MPW), and high-volume mass production requirements. For more information, please visit www.compoundtek.com.

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