Redesigning photonic interconnects with silicon-on-sapphire device platform for ultra-low-energy on-chip communication

V. Sai Praneeth Karempudi, Sairam Sri Vatsavai, Ishan Thakkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Traditional silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform based on-chip photonic interconnects have limited energy-bandwidth scalability due to the optical non-linearity induced power constraints of the constituent photonic devices. In this paper, we propose to break this scalability barrier using a new silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) based photonic device platform. Our physical-layer characterization results show that SOS-based photonic devices have negligible optical non-linearity effects in the mid-infrared region near 4μm, which drastically alleviates their power constraints. Our link-level analysis shows that SOS-based photonic devices can be used to realize photonic links with aggregated data rate of more than 1 Tb/s, which recently has been deemed unattainable for the SOI-based photonic on-chip links. We also show that such high-throughput SOS-based photonic links can significantly improve the energy-efficiency of on-chip photonic communication architectures. Our system-level analysis results position SOS-based photonic interconnects to pave the way for realizing ultra-low-energy (< 1 pJ/bit) on-chip data transfers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGLSVLSI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450379441
StatePublished - Sep 7 2020
Event30th Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI, GLSVLSI 2020 - Virtual, Online, China
Duration: Sep 7 2020Sep 9 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI, GLSVLSI


Conference30th Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI, GLSVLSI 2020
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Computing Machinery.


  • Aggregated data rate
  • Energy efficiency
  • Photonic link
  • Power budget
  • Two-photon absorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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