Optical Fiber Array Product Families for Silicon Photonics Integrated Chips

‌Sep 09, 2022

POINTek, Inc., a global leader and provider of high performance athermal AWGs, announced launching of new Application-Specific Optical Fiber Array Products, Silicon Photonics (SiPh) Fiber Arrays, which is capable of supporting the back-end packaging for Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuits (PIC).

This new Silicon Photonics Fiber Arrays have the excellent characteristics of a fine fiber-end mirror-surface quality and an accurate fiber protrusion length uniformity to match with the prefabricated V-grooves on a Silicon PIC chip. The required fiber protrusion length is typically 5mm with ≤±2mm length uniformity in an array. Both 
Single Mode (SM) Fiber Arrays and Polarization Maintaining (PM) Fiber Arrays are available with or without 12-channel MT ferrule termination.

"This new SiPh Fiber Array is designed to passively align the multiple optical fibers into the wafer-fabricated V-grooves on the Silicon PIC chip without the expensive and complicated active alignment equipment, and furthermore, the passive alignment of the Array can be accomplished without monitoring the optical power," according to Dr. Donald Yu, CMO of POINTek, operating from Los Angeles, California. Yu explains that the optical fiber array is a key component to efficiently assemble the PIC devices for coupling the multiple fibers into the multiple I/O waveguides on a PIC chip. In the conventional optical active alignment assembly process, the expensive automatic precision alignment equipment should be utilized while monitoring the optical power in the packaging process, and it often takes the long processing time. "However, for this new SiPh Fiber Array, the fibers can be precisely placed in the Silicon PIC's V-grooves with the minimal operation costs. Therefore, the passive alignment of Silicon PIC could result in the very affordable SiPh device price in the market," Yu adds (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Silicon Photonics Single Mode Fiber Arrays:
(Left) SiPh SM Fiber Array Head showing Fiber Protrusion; (Right) SiPh SM Fiber Array with MT Ferrule Termination

In order for a SiPh Fiber Array to be passively aligned into a Silicon PIC chip, every optical fiber needs to be of very good fiber-end surface polishing quality and designed to be protruded ~5mm away from the Fiber Block with < +/-2um length uniformity. "The requirement of maintaining good fiber-end surface quality and precise fiber protrusion with micron length uniformity has been a challenging technical barrier for the SiPh Fiber Arrays. The conventional ways of precision cutting processes such as dicing saw or laser cutter are not able to provide the required fiber-end surface quality and the fiber protrusion length uniformity. Our long-standing extensive field experiences in the optical packaging area allowed us successfully to develop the optimal SiPh fiber Array manufacturing processes that support both surface quality and length uniformity of the new fiber array," says Dr. T.H. Rhee, CEO of POINTek. "In addition, the PM model of the new SiPh Fiber Array is also available with or without a 12-channel MT ferrule. This PM SiPh Fiber array provides a good Polarization Extinction Ratio (PER) better than 20dB on every fiber as well as MT Ferrule," Rhee add (See Figure 2).

Figure 2. Silicon Photonics Polarization Maintaining Fiber Arrays:
(Left) SiPh PM Fiber Array Head showing Fiber Protrusion; (Right) SiPh PM Fiber Array with MT Ferrule Termination

POINTek's specialty in high performance optical component offers a timely and appropriate packaging solution to the coming Silicon PICs and monolithic electro-optic devices in the access network telecom industry as well as high performance computing and gaming industry.

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