Tower Semi and Anello develop low-loss photonics process

The foundry version of the process will enable adoption in a wide range of markets such as including automotive LiDAR, bio-sensing, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, microwave photonics and optical communications requiring complex integration of high-performance optical devices.

The new low-loss Silicon Nitride waveguide process approaches 0.005dB/cm propagation loss at 1550nm wavelengths with less than 1mm bend radius.

The process claims to deliver one to two orders of magnitude lower loss than other commercial foundry processes at a compact bend radius for both 1550nm and 1310nm wavelengths.

The combination of low loss along with small bend radius enables fabrication of a new class of high performing devices, including long (>10m) delays lines and tiny on-chip resonators with high quality factors (high-Q) surpassing 100 million.

A range of optical applications such as automotive LiDAR, bio-sensing, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, microwave photonics and optical communications could all benefit from the breakthrough capabilities delivered by this new low-loss process.

Anello Photonics and Tower Semiconductor have developed this process over the last eighteen months, and Anello’s SiPhOG gyroscope utilizes the process to directly replace the optical fiber found in a traditional Fiber Optic Gyroscope.

A foundry version of this process is being offered by Tower to its customers beginning in Q1 2022.