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UC Berkeley: New Semiconductor Laser Delivering Power with Scalability


U.C. Berkeley scientists demonstrated a Berkeley Surface Emitting Lasers (BerkSELs), a long-sought breakthrough in scaling laser size with power. “Increasing both size and power of a single-mode laser has been a challenge in optics since the first laser was built in 1960,” said research team leader Boubacar Kanté, Chenming Hu Associate Professor at Berkeley. “Six decades later, we show ... » read more

Will Co-Packaged Optics Replace Pluggables?


As optical connections work their way deeper into the data center, a debate is underway. Is it better to use pluggable optical modules or to embed lasers deep into advanced packages? There are issues of convenience, power, and reliability driving the discussion, and an eventual winner isn’t clear yet. “The industry is definitely embracing co-packaged optics,” said James Pond, principal... » read more

Startup Funding: September 2020


It was a good month for startups, with big rounds in automotive, data centers, and AI. A new startup with big backing is taking aim at energy inefficiency in the data center, and another is looking to make the industrial IoT battery-free. SK Hynix founded a new company to analyze semiconductor manufacturing data, and one of China's EV companies sees a massive cash infusion. This month, we look ... » read more

Scaling CMOS Image Sensors


After a period of record growth, the CMOS image sensor market is beginning to face some new and unforeseen challenges. CMOS image sensors provide the camera functions in smartphones and other products, but now they are facing scaling and related manufacturing issues in the fab. And like all chip products, image sensors are seeing slower growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manufactured a... » read more

SEMICON West Preview


By Paula Doe The fast growing demand for bandwidth is driving telecomm and data center user interest in moving high speed optical connections closer and closer to the chips, as recent advances in packaging technology, from microbumping to bonding to wafer-level redistribution now help make it possible. Chip-to-chip and chip-to-board optical connections increasingly look like a viable soluti... » read more