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High-temperature-resistant silicon-polymer hybrid modulator operating at up to 200Gbit/s for energy-efficient datacenters

 On August 24, 2020, Kyushu University and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) jointly announced that a research group of the university has realized high-temperature-resistant silicon-polymer hybrid modulator operating at up to 200Gbit/s for energy-efficient datacenters. Details were published in Nature Communications by Professor Shiyoshi Yokoyama at Kyushu University as last author*.

 Data rate of optical fiber transmission between computers at datacenters has been increasing year by year. At present, the rate is 400Gbit/s, and will be 800~1600Gbit/s until 2025. Therefore, optical devices with higher speed, lower energy consumption, and lower cost are demanded. Electro-optic (EO) polymer is a promising material for the future optical modulator, however, has a drawback of reliability at high temperatures.

 The research group has developed an EO polymer with high EO activities (n3r33 =1021 pm/V), low propagation loss (0.22dB/mm), and ultra-high glass transition temperature (Tg=172℃). By using the newly developed EO polymer, they fabricate and demonstrate silicon-polymer hybrid modulators(Mach-Zehnder interferometer type with 70 GHz bandwidth)which support ultra-fast single-lane data rates up to 200Gbit/s, and meanwhile feature excellent reliability with an exceptional signal fidelity retained at extremely-high ambient temperatures up to 110℃ and even after long-term exposure to high temperatures.

 They will increase the date rate up to 800~1600Gbit/s by combining multiple lanes in parallel.
 
 *Guo-Wei Lu, Jianxun Hong, Feng Qiu, Andrew M. Spring, Tsubasa Kashino, Juro Oshima, Masa-aki Ozawa, Hideyuki Nawata & Shiyoshi Yokoyama, "High-temperature-resistant silicon-polymer hybrid modulator operating at up to 200Gbit/s for energy-efficient datacentres and harsh-environment appli-cations", Nature Communications, Vol. 11, Article number: 4224 (2020), DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18005-7; Published: 24 August 2020