October 4, 2001 – Hsinchu, Taiwan and Monterey Park, CA – LightCross, an integrated optical networking components company, and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) have successfully produced working Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWGs) devices on UMC silicon. This event marks the first time that integrated optical devices have been produced at a leading integrated circuit foundry, according to the companies.
Through the bridging fabrication technology developed at LightCross, the traditionally labor-intensive process of handcrafting discrete photonic components is no longer required. Now, photonic components can be manufactured in silicon, in an integrated manner, by leveraging UMC’s fabs, the companies said. Beyond significantly reducing development cycles, this revolutionary photonic component manufacturing development also provides a low cost approach for fabricating photonic ICs. It is believed that these low-cost and high-performance devices will significantly contribute toward helping optical communication systems move quickly from the network backbone to the metro and local access networks.
“Combining LightCross’ photonics design expertise with UMC’s ability to achieve high-yield and volume chip manufacturing at low costs will revolutionize the optical components industry,” said John Hsuan, vice-chairman of UMC. “Our partnership with LightCross represents a bold effort to leverage existing IC infrastructure and assets to make cutting-edge telecommunications products.”