Silicon Photonics is comparatively new technology which got commercialized in the last decade. Basically Silicon Photonics is the technology which uses optical rays to communicate with other computer chips. The biggest application sector for silicon photonics is the datacom sector, especially in data centers. With the amount of data storage and transfer increasing exponentially, global data centers are focused on reducing carbon footprints and increasing the data transfer rate significantly. Though the amount of energy saved per chip, when using silicon photonics and conventional technologies is small, in very high volume applications the energy consumption is reduced drastically.
Another important factor of high volume applications is the fact that this will push the need for foundry services to the top of the priority list. Many major fabs across the globe are already gearing up for the advent of silicon photonics in these applications (High data Transfer Rates) and research and development in the manufacturing processes required for making silicon photonic products is progressing at a rapid pace.
The data transferred using conventional copper transmitters have bandwidth limitations and thus the volume of data transfer is reduced. Integration of photonics on silicon—with conventional CMOS technology—is what needed to meet data center demands for next generation performance. The silicon photonic technology has optical transmission that allows high volume of data transferred up to 100Gb/s at one goes through a single channel. For example, silicon photonics based photo detectors can provide gain-bandwidth up-to 340GHz that means detection of signals is at a higher speed and lower power levels.
Because of low power consumption of silicon photonics, the adoption rate of silicon photonics products in the various application sectors also affects the need for high data transfer rates. The amount of data generated globally in telecom and datacom applications is increasing drastically year-on-year. The current conventional technologies are limited by their transfer rates and power consumption and the need for silicon photonics for its high data transfer capabilities is very urgent. Thus the demand for data transfer rates will be high currently and the near future. As the adoption rate of silicon photonic products increases the impact of this will reduce.