The optical transceiver is eventually expected to form the heart of an optical chipset that will route data around the system using photons, rather than electrons, to communicate.
IBM scientists will announce the prototype at the 2007 Optical Fiber Conference this week in Anaheim, Calif.
"The explosion in the amount of data being transferred, when downloading movies, TV shows, music or photos, is creating demand for greater bandwidth and higher speeds in connectivity," said T.C. Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Research. "Greater use of optical communications is needed to address this issue. We believe our optical transceiver technology may provide the answer."
While the optical transceiver was fabricated using the same CMOS technology used by standard semiconductors, it was combined with other components using more exotic technologies, including indium phosphide (InP) and gallium arsenide (GaAs). The total integrated package only measures 3.25 by 5.25 millimeters in size, IBM said.
The paper, "160-Gb/s, 16-Channel Full-Duplex, Single-Chip CMOS Optical Transceiver," by C.L. Schow, F.E. Doany, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, C. Baks, D.M. Kuchta, L. Schares, R. John, and J.A. Kash of IBMs T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y. will be presented on March 29 at the 2007 Optical Fiber Conference in Anaheim. This work was partially funded by Defense Advanced Research Project Agency through the Chip to Chip Optical Interconnect (C2OI) program.