The Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), streaming video, 5G, and more force data centers to scale exponentially. Service providers need to increase the bandwidth of existing fiber lines in data center interconnects (DCIs) to support the increasing network traffic these technologies generate. Chip and board manufacturers need to face the reality that Moore’s Law – the expectation that the number of transistors that can be placed onto silicon chips within integrated circuits doubles every two years – has reached its limit. All these factors are a tipping point for silicon photonics, a technology that promises a new wave of chips, systems, and optical components to address the growing need for faster and more data.
Three key trends highlighted in this paper:
- Silicon photonics increase capacity and save energy
- Moore’s Law and photonic integrated circuits
- Integrated photonics introduce new test challenges