skip to main content

Title: Non-Volatile, Reconfigurable, Zero-Static Power Optical Routing for Transistor-Laser-Based Electronic-Photonic Processing
The ever-growing data traffic requires greater transmission bandwidth and better energy efficiency in chip scale interconnects. The emerging transistor-laser-based electronic-photonic processing platform stands out for its high electrical-to-optical efficiency. Because transistor lasers operate best at 980 nm, efficient optical interconnects at this wavelength need to be developed for such energy-efficient computing platforms. Phase change materials (PCMs) are good candidates for achieving non-volatile, reconfigurable, zero-static power optical switching. Having bi-stable states under room temperature, a PCM has its permittivity significantly different between its crystalline and amorphous phases. The authors propose to develop a reconfigurable 1 x 2 optical switch by utilizing low loss GeTe PCM to pave the way for the transistor-laser platform at 980 nm. The non-volatility of the proposed device will open up opportunities for other interesting applications such as non-volatile optical memory and the optical equivalence of the field programmable gate array (FPGA).  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Techcon 2018
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Phase change materials (PCMs) have long been used as a storage medium in rewritable compact disk and later in random access memory. In recent years, integration of PCMs with nanophotonic structures has introduced a new paradigm for non‐volatile reconfigurable optics. However, the high loss of the archetypal PCM Ge2Sb2Te5in both visible and telecommunication wavelengths has fundamentally limited its applications. Sb2S3has recently emerged as a wide‐bandgap PCM with transparency windows ranging from 610 nm to near‐IR. In this paper, the strong optical phase modulation and low optical loss of Sb2S3are experimentally demonstrated for the first time in integrated photonic platforms at both 750 and 1550 nm. As opposed to silicon, the thermo‐optic coefficient of Sb2S3is shown to be negative, making the Sb2S3–Si hybrid platform less sensitive to thermal fluctuation. Finally, a Sb2S3integrated non‐volatile microring switch is demonstrated which can be tuned electrically between a high and low transmission state with a contrast over 30 dB. This work experimentally verifies prominent phase modification and low loss of Sb2S3in wavelength ranges relevant for both solid‐state quantum emitter and telecommunication, enabling potential applications such as optical field programmable gate array, post‐fabrication trimming, and large‐scale integrated quantum photonic network.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Phase-change materials (PCMs) offer a compelling platform for active metaoptics, owing to their large index contrast and fast yet stable phase transition attributes. Despite recent advances in phase-change metasurfaces, a fully integrable solution that combines pronounced tuning measures, i.e., efficiency, dynamic range, speed, and power consumption, is still elusive. Here, we demonstrate an in situ electrically driven tunable metasurface by harnessing the full potential of a PCM alloy, Ge2Sb2Te5(GST), to realize non-volatile, reversible, multilevel, fast, and remarkable optical modulation in the near-infrared spectral range. Such a reprogrammable platform presents a record eleven-fold change in the reflectance (absolute reflectance contrast reaching 80%), unprecedented quasi-continuous spectral tuning over 250 nm, and switching speed that can potentially reach a few kHz. Our scalable heterostructure architecture capitalizes on the integration of a robust resistive microheater decoupled from an optically smart metasurface enabling good modal overlap with an ultrathin layer of the largest index contrast PCM to sustain high scattering efficiency even after several reversible phase transitions. We further experimentally demonstrate an electrically reconfigurable phase-change gradient metasurface capable of steering an incident light beam into different diffraction orders. This work represents a critical advance towards the development of fully integrable dynamic metasurfaces and their potential for beamforming applications.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Reconfigurability of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) has become increasingly important due to the growing demands for electronic–photonic systems on a chip driven by emerging applications, including neuromorphic computing, quantum information, and microwave photonics. Success in these fields usually requires highly scalable photonic switching units as essential building blocks. Current photonic switches, however, mainly rely on materials with weak, volatile thermo‐optic or electro‐optic modulation effects, resulting in large footprints and high energy consumption. As a promising alternative, chalcogenide phase‐change materials (PCMs) exhibit strong optical modulation in a static, self‐holding fashion, but the scalability of present PCM‐integrated photonic applications is still limited by the poor optical or electrical actuation approaches. Here, with phase transitions actuated by in situ silicon PIN diode heaters, scalable nonvolatile electrically reconfigurable photonic switches using PCM‐clad silicon waveguides and microring resonators are demonstrated. As a result, intrinsically compact and energy‐efficient switching units operated with low driving voltages, near‐zero additional loss, and reversible switching with high endurance are obtained in a complementary metal‐oxide‐semiconductor (CMOS)‐compatible process. This work can potentially enable very large‐scale CMOS‐integrated programmable electronic–photonic systems such as optical neural networks and general‐purpose integrated photonic processors.

    more » « less
  4. In this paper, we propose an energy-efficient reconfigurable platform for in-memory processing based on novel 4-terminal spin Hall effect-driven domain wall motion devices that could be employed as both non-volatile memory cell and in-memory logic unit. The proposed designs lead to unity of memory and logic. The device to system level simulation results show that, with 28% area increase in memory structure, the proposed in-memory processing platform achieves a write energy ~15.6 fJ/bit with 79% reduction compared to that of SOT-MRAM counterpart while keeping the identical 1ns writing speed. In addition, the proposed in-memory logic scheme improves the operating energy by 61.3%, as compared with the recent non-volatile in-memory logic designs. An extensive reliability analysis is also performed over the proposed circuits. We employ Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm as a case study to elucidate the efficiency of the proposed platform at application level. Simulation results exhibit that the proposed platform can show up to 75.7% and 30.4% lower energy consumption compared to CMOS-ASIC and recent pipelined domain wall (DW) AES implementations, respectively. In addition, the AES Energy-Delay Product (EDP) can show 15.1% and 6.1% improvements compared to the DW-AES and CMOS-ASIC implementations, respectively. 
    more » « less
  5. Phase Change Memory (PCM) is an attractive candidate for main memory, as it offers non-volatility and zero leakage power while providing higher cell densities, longer data retention time, and higher capacity scaling compared to DRAM. In PCM, data is stored in the crystalline or amorphous state of the phase change material. The typical electrically controlled PCM (EPCM), however, suffers from longer write latency and higher write energy compared to DRAM and limited multi-level cell (MLC) capacities. These challenges limit the performance of data-intensive applications running on computing systems with EPCMs.

    Recently, researchers demonstrated optically controlled PCM (OPCM) cells with support for 5bits/cellin contrast to 2bits/cellin EPCM. These OPCM cells can be accessed directly with optical signals that are multiplexed in high-bandwidth-density silicon-photonic links. The higher MLC capacity in OPCM and the direct cell access using optical signals enable an increased read/write throughput and lower energy per access than EPCM. However, due to the direct cell access using optical signals, OPCM systems cannot be designed using conventional memory architecture. We need a complete redesign of the memory architecture that is tailored to the properties of OPCM technology.

    This article presents the design of a unified network and main memory system called COSMOS that combines OPCM and silicon-photonic links to achieve high memory throughput. COSMOS is composed of a hierarchical multi-banked OPCM array with novel read and write access protocols. COSMOS uses an Electrical-Optical-Electrical (E-O-E) control unit to map standard DRAM read/write commands (sent in electrical domain) from the memory controller on to optical signals that access the OPCM cells. Our evaluation of a 2.5D-integrated system containing a processor and COSMOS demonstrates2.14 ×average speedup across graph and HPC workloads compared to an EPCM system. COSMOS consumes3.8×lower read energy-per-bit and5.97×lower write energy-per-bit compared to EPCM. COSMOS is the first non-volatile memory that provides comparable performance and energy consumption as DDR5 in addition to increased bit density, higher area efficiency, and improved scalability.

    more » « less