Abstract

Development of an efficient and densely integrated optical coupling interface for silicon photonics based board-level optical interconnects is one of the key challenges in the domain of 2.5D/3D electro-optic integration. Enabling high-speed on-chip electro-optic conversion and efficient optical transmission across package/board-level short-reach interconnections can help overcome the limitations of a conventional electrical I/O in terms of bandwidth density and power consumption in a high-performance computing environment. In this context, we have demonstrated a novel optical coupling interface to integrate silicon photonics with board-level optical interconnects. We show that by integrating a ball lens in a via drilled in an organic package substrate, the optical beam diffracted from a downward directionality grating on a photonics chip can be coupled to a board-level polymer multimode waveguide with a good alignment tolerance. A key result from the experiment was a 14  $\mu$ m chip-to-package 1-dB lateral alignment tolerance for coupling into a polymer waveguide with a cross-section of 20 × 25  $\mu$ m $^2$ . An in-depth analysis of loss distribution across several interfaces was done and a −3.4 dB coupling efficiency was measured between the optical interface comprising of output grating, ball lens and polymer waveguide. Furthermore, it is shown that an efficiency better than −2 dB can be achieved by tweaking few parameters in the coupling interface. The fabrication of the optical interfaces and related measurements are reported and verified with simulation results.

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