Monolithic Integration of Photonics with Billion Transistor Circuits

Intervenant(s) : Luca ALLOATTI, ETH Zurich
Abstract: Integrated microelectronic circuits are at the core of modern digital society. Today, however, their performance is often limited by the input/output (I/O) bottleneck caused by the poor performance of existing off-chip electrical interconnects. The realization of photonic and electronic circuits into the same silicon layer (monolithic integration) of advanced CMOS nodes has the potential of solving this problem. This talk presents the first complete photonics toolbox for side-by-side integration with billion transistor circuits. The toolbox is based on the “zero-change CMOS photonics” paradigm which consists of designing optical components in existing CMOS nodes without modifying the original design rules nor the fabrication process. This technology enabled the first single-chip microprocessor with optical I/O. The relevant figures such as energy efficiency, bandwidth density (Tb/s per chip area) and reach of the latest device generation enable systems with unprecedented performance. Further, the possibility of interconnecting a large number of silicon dies with virtually unlimited bandwidth opens novel scenarios in terms of digital design, hardware licenses and development of CMOS nodes.
Biography: Luca Alloatti received the M.Sc. degree in physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2004, the “Diploma di Licenza” from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (SNS) in 2006, and the Ph.D. degree in 2012 in electrical engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, with a thesis entitled “High-Speed, Low-Power and Mid-IR Silicon Photonics Applications”. In December 2013 he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, where he demonstrated “zero-change CMOS” high-speed detectors and modulators as well as a photonic design automation (PDA) infrastructure based on Cadence. In December 2015 he moved to ETH-Zurich, Switzerland, where he is currently leading a group on electronic-photonic integration.
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