My Latest Chip

I finally got approval to post a picture of the chip I’ve been working on at Luxtera for the past few months of my life. This chip was talked about briefly at ISSCC 2006, but a photo wasn’t included in the paper…so here it is.

And in its package, with the lid and fiber couplings removed:

Briefly, the chip is a dual 10 Gigabit/s optical transceiver with integrated electro-optical signal conditioning, clock and data recovery, control and calibration circuitry, and various other testability features (I guess if I were to put on my marketing hat, I would use words like “world’s first integrated photonic system on a chip”). It was a very interesting chip to design. The interaction of the photonic elements and how it guides the architectural and physical design choices you can make in an integrated system are definitely unique and interesting. I think my favorite part of doing this chip was the opportunity to work on every level of the project–physics, silicon, tools, models, circuits, systems, layout, architecture, photonics, market reqs, test, characterization, boards, yield, etc. and to work on all of this with a talented team of engineers…a great learning experience that pushed me on all fronts.

7 Responses to “My Latest Chip”

  1. Roastbeef says:

    Any grafitti on the chip?

  2. bunnie says:

    Heh, no unfortunately. New management policy, no graffitti allowed. Although, on a previous chip, there’s a great picture of a cartoon bunnie on it somewhere ;)

  3. Mouser says:

    How do I request my free samples? :-P

  4. Fascinating piece of work — thanks for the update (and for posting the paper earlier.) I’ve been meaning to keep a closer eye on the photonics scene ever since I ran across some of the work the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has been doing on hybrid photonic/millimeter-wave engineering.

  5. Cybergibbons says:

    I’m highly envious of your job – it’s a rarity to be able to be involved with such an interesting project, but especially every different facet of the work. It’s probably a reflection of your diverse skillset rather than just landing a good job though.

    It’s a very impressive product though, a long stretch from the discrete components we were working with in DWDM a few years back.

  6. JimmyJo says:

    Very lovely die.
    So you actually attach optical fibers onto the die?
    It is still electrically interfaced to the processor, right?
    But unless the I/Os of the chip can reach 10Gbps,
    it will never be able to send or receive at 10Gbps, right?

  7. […] People have often asked me, now that I have some perspective on China, what I think will happen to the US. Can we compete? Will we continue to lead? I’m quite bullish about the US in general, but I had an interesting reality check tonight. I’m at the ISSCC right now (where I and my former colleagues at Luxtera had the honor of receiving an “outstanding paper” award for work presented at last years’ conference), and I was chatting with UCSD high speed integrated circuits professor Jim Buckwalter about the nature of the graduate student applications he has received. […]