An international team of scientists constructs the first germanium-tin semiconductor laser for silicon chips
Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland in cooperation with international partners have presented the first semiconductor consisting solely of elements of main group IV. As a consequence, the germanium-tin (GeSn) laser can be applied directly onto a silicon chip and thus creates a new basis for transmitting data on computer chips via light: this transfer is faster than is possible with copper wires and requires only a fraction of the energy. The results have been published in the journal Nature Photonics.
The transfer of data between multiple cores as well as between logic elements and memory cells is regarded as a bottleneck in the fast-developing computer technology. Data transmission via light could be the answer to the call for a faster and more energy efficient data flow on computer chips as well as between different board components. “Signal transmission via copper wires limits the development of larger and faster computers due to the thermal load and the limited bandwidth of copper wires. The clock signal alone synchronizing the circuits uses up to 30% of the energy – energy which can be saved through optical transmission,” explains Prof. Detlev Grützmacher, Director at Jülich’s Peter Grünberg Institute.
Some long-distance telecommunication networks and computing centres have been making use of optical connections for decades. They allow very high bandwidths even over long distances. Through optical fibres, signal propagation is almost lossless and possible across various wavelengths simultaneously: a speed advantage which increasingly benefits both micro- and nanoelectronics. “The integration of optical components is already well advanced in many areas. However, in spite of intensive research, a laser source that is compatible with the manufacturing of chips is not yet achievable,” according to the head of Semiconductor Nanoelectronics (PGI-9).
Suitable material for chip production
The basis of chip manufacturing is silicon, an element of main group IV of the periodic table. Typical semiconductor lasers for telecommunication systems, made of gallium arsenide for example, however, are costly and consist of elements from main groups III or V. This has profound consequences on the crystal properties. Such laser components cannot therefore be applied directly onto silicon. They have to be produced externally at great effort and subsequently glued to the silicon wafer. However, the lifetime of this kind of component is greatly reduced due to the fact that the thermal expansion coefficients of these elements are significantly different from that of silicon.
In contrast, semiconductors of main group IV – to which both silicon and germanium belong – can be integrated into the manufacturing process without any major difficulties. Neither element is very efficient as a light source, however. They are classed among the indirect semiconductors. In contrast to direct semiconductors, they emit mostly heat and only a little light when excited. That is why research groups all over the globe are intensively pursuing the objective of manipulating the material properties of germanium so that it would be able to amplify optical signals and thus make it a usable laser source.
Read more: New Laser for Computer Chips
The Latest on: Laser data transmission
via Google News
The Latest on: MLaser data transmission
- New Brochure: High-Precision Motion and Control Solutions for Laser and Photonics Applicationson May 19, 2022 at 9:30 am
Backed by decades of nanopositioning experience, PI delivers motion control solutions for optimizing manufacturing process and quality control, speeding up data and information transmission ...
- Global Optical Phase Modulator Market size is projected to witness USD 9135.90 Million by 2030on May 12, 2022 at 4:00 am
The increasing number of new manufacturers approaching the market is due to the rising applications in optical communication systems and fiber optic sensing.Newark, NJ, May 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - ...
- Advances in femtosecond laser direct writing of fiber Bragg gratings in multicore fiberson May 5, 2022 at 8:37 am
A new publication in Opto-Electronic Advances overviews advances in femtosecond laser direct writing of ... of technologies for high-capacity data transmission over optical communication links ...
- Paper: China space laser zaps competition with data speed recordon April 26, 2022 at 2:48 am
who turned their attention to the two types of beams used by traditional laser satellites – one for beaconing and the other for data transmission. To reduce the size and cost of their device ...
- China space laser zaps competition with data speed record: paperon April 24, 2022 at 10:56 pm
Solving these problems required some rule-breaking innovations, according to the researchers, who turned their attention to the two types of beams used by traditional laser satellites – one for ...
- Plastics Locked Down and Laser Weldedon April 20, 2022 at 4:59 pm
Design combinations of these properties help to achieve transmission of the laser beam through ... However, this method is flexible as the laser path can be generated through CAD data. The use of high ...
via Bing News