CompoundTek, NTU collaborate on SiPh

Created September 4, 2020
Applications and Research

CompoundTek Pte Ltd, a global foundry services provider in emerging Silicon Photonics (SiPh) solutions, is working with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) on a three-year joint advanced research and development collaboration for O, C, L-band silicon photonics tuneable lasers for communications and other emerging applications.

One of the primary objectives is to develop a high-performance tuneable laser that has a compact footprint and is scalable, high-yield and suited for low-cost manufacturing. By replacing the commonly used array of single wavelength lasers with a single wavelength tuneable laser, this much-simplified design architecture reduces existing complexities of optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) systems, and will additionally lower wavelength contention and inventory costs for commercial products.

CompoundTek says the SiPh platform today offers scalability, cost-effectiveness and manufacturability of the matured Si CMOS process. However, one of the key disadvantages of SiPh is the non-availability of highly-efficient silicon laser integrated with SiPh circuits. Hybrid SiPh, integrating SiPh devices with III-V compound semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), offers the best of both worlds – enabling low propagation loss and high integration densities while providing efficient optical gain and flexibility for spectral engineering. This integration is one of the key research areas at NTU’s The Photonics Institute.

K.S. Ang (left), COO of CompoundTek and Professor Wang, NTU, pictured with a prototype of the packaged tuneable laser

This collaboration reinforces CompoundTek’s ambitions in advancing R&D to enhance SiPh technology offerings and deliver on the company’s commitment to its technology roadmap. Since its launch in 2017, CompoundTek has more than 20 global commercial customers in over nine countries and over 20 leading Research Institutes and Universities in various applications such as telecommunications, automotive LiDAR, data communications, bio-sensing/bio-medical, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and smart sensors. The company recently announced it was collaborating with test solutions company STAr Technologies to develop standards and solutions for cost-effective high-volume SiPh Wafer Test.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.