The use of optical interconnects has burgeoned as a promising technology that can address the limits of data transfer for future high-performance silicon chips. Recent pushes to enhance optical communication have focused on developing wavelength-division multiplexing technology, and new dimensions of data transfer will be paramount to fulfill the ever-growing need for speed. Here we demonstrate an integrated multi-dimensional communication scheme that combines wavelength- and mode- multiplexing on a silicon photonic circuit. Using foundry-compatible photonic inverse design and spectrally flattened microcombs, we demonstrate a 1.12-Tb/s natively error-free data transmission throughout a silicon nanophotonic waveguide. Furthermore, we implement inverse-designed surface-normal couplers to enable multimode optical transmission between separate silicon chips throughout a multimode-matched fibre. All the inverse-designed devices comply with the process design rules for standard silicon photonic foundries. Our approach is inherently scalable to a multiplicative enhancement over the state of the art silicon photonic transmitters.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge J.M.Kahn, S.Fan, G.Li, A.Dutt, S.K.Pai, M.H.Idjadi and D.Huang for insightful discussion and technical advice. The chip-scale devices were fabricated in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities, GlobalFoundries, Advanced Micro Foundry Pte Ltd, AIM photonics, LIGENTEC, and Octave Photonics. This work is funded by the DARPA under the PIPES programme and the AFOSR under the MURI programme (Award No. FA9550-17-1-0002). A.E.W. acknowledges the support from AFRL (FA8650-20-C-1105) as well as the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship sponsored by BRO of ASD/R&E and funded by ONR (N00014-16-1-2813). K.V.G. is supported by the Research Foundation—Flanders (12ZB520N). We thank G.Keeler, G.Pomrenke and the programme management teams for discussions throughout the project.
© 2022, The Author(s).