Most demonstrations in silicon photonics are done with single devices that are targeted for use in future systems. One of the costs of operating multiple devices concurrently on a chip in a system application is the power needed to properly space resonant device frequencies on a system’s frequency grid. We asses this power requirement by quantifying the source and impact of process induced resonant frequency variation for microdisk resonators across individual die, entire wafers and wafer lots for separate process runs. Additionally we introduce a new technique, utilizing the Transverse Electric (TE) and Transverse Magnetic (TM) modes in microdisks, to extract thickness and width variations across wafers and dice. Through our analysis we find that a standard six inch Silicon on Insulator (SOI) 0.35μm process controls microdisk resonant frequencies for the TE fundamental resonances to within 1THz across a wafer and 105GHz within a single die. Based on demonstrated thermal tuner technology, a stable manufacturing process exhibiting this level of variation can limit the resonance trimming power per resonant device to 231μW. Taken in conjunction with the power to compensate for thermal environmental variations, the expected power requirement to compensate for fabrication-induced non-uniformities is 17% of that total. This leads to the prediction that thermal tuning efficiency is likely to have the most dominant impact on the overall power budget of silicon photonics resonator technology.
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