Paul van Gerven
10 March

Several high-profile companies have hitched their wagons to Globalfoundries’ new silicon photonics platform. Allowing placement of photonics and 300 GHz-class RF-CMOS side by side on the same 300-millimeter wafer, GF Fotonix is the first to deliver “best-in-class performance at scale,” Glofo claims. Broadcom, Cisco Systems and Nvidia are among the firms that are collaborating with the foundry, which went public last year.

GF Fab 8 Malta NY
GF Fotonix chips will be manufactured at the Globalfoundries’ advanced manufacturing facility in Malta, New York. Credit: Globalfoundries

GF Fotonix is meant to address the rising data volumes in the optical networking market as well as reduce power consumption. Glofo expects this market to grow at a CAGR of 26 percent 2021-2026, reaching 4 billion dollars by the end of that period.

As a monolithic platform, GF Fotonix allows for the photonic system, RF components and CMOS logic to be placed on a single silicon chip. Previously, these elements were distributed across multiple chips and subsequently packaged together. The higher level of integration facilitates adding product functions and reduces overall cost. On the performance side, GF Fotonix is claimed to have the industry’s highest data rate per fiber (0.5 Tb/s).