LIGHTWAVE Online: June 17, 2021

Avicena touts LED-based LightBundle optical interconnects for chip-to-chip communication

The company’s LightBundle leverages microLED light sources and multicore fibers to create highly parallel interconnects that Avicena sources say can enable chip-to-chip communications at distances up to 10 m

AUTHOR: Stephen Hardy

Mountain View, CA, based startup Avicena Inc. has announced an optical interconnect based on technology from the imagery and display worlds. The company’s LightBundleTM leverages microLED light sources and multicore fibers to create highly parallel interconnects that Avicena sources say can enable chip-to-chip communications at distances up to 10 m.

At the heart of the LightBundle is the company’s Cavity-Reinforced Optical Micro-Emitters (CROMEs), based on GaN microLEDs, according to Chris Pfistner, who works in marketing and business development with Avicena. Such visible light emitters are commonly used in the display arena, but typically can transmit less than 1 Gbps of information. Avicena has developed a way to boost that output to approximately 10 Gbps, Pfistner says. The blue CROMEs are bonded to CMOS in a highly parallel array alongside arrays of silicon photodetectors grown directly in CMOS. The technology is capable of producing 10 Tbps per square millimeter at a power efficiency of less than 0.5 pJ/bit, Pfistner asserts. The CROME emitters can operate at ASIC temperatures, meaning they can serve reliably as internal laser sources for co-packaged optics without cooling.