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4 avril 2019

“PIC your test”: How to test photonic integrated circuits?

François Couny

Product Line Manager

François Couny is Product Line Manager for EXFO Optics. He started his career in 2001 as a Test & Measurement engineer at Blaze Photonics, a start-up company specialized in Photonic Crystal Fibre and completed his Ph.D. in Photonics in 2008 at the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Material at the University of Bath (UK). He went on to join Yenista Optics in 2010 with a focus on developing tuneable laser sources and spectral solutions, including an Optical Spectrum Analyzer and also an optical component tester adapted to photonic integrated circuits characterization. Since 2015, François has been PLM for Yenista Optics, now part of EXFO as EXFO Optics.

 

Did you know that today’s bandwidth boom (400G rollouts, the advent of 5G or the sprawl of data centers) is mainly driven by integrated photonics? This disruptive technology has been picking up pace over the past few years in telecom applications mainly, but also in medical, sensing or military sectors. Often compared to the groundbreaking electronic processor, photonic integrated circuits (PIC) are similarly imprinted onto wafers before being cut into individual chips.

The PIC can combine many functions: purely optical as well as opto-electronical, electro-optical or fully electronic, hence offering the best of optics and electronics. Testing such complex components can be challenging due to their multiple functionalities, the large number of devices being produced per wafer and the mix of active and passive component present on each device.

The fundamental characteristic of an optical component is its spectrum (i.e., the power variations from or through the device). Testing it is called parametric testing. This is often performed at an early stage in the life of the component to avoid producing defective devices.

In this webinar, we will see how to perform parametric tests on PICs while they are still on wafer. We will also discuss which method is best suited to each type of PIC. Finally, we will see how T&M vendors are addressing this new challenge.

Key takeaways:

  • Back to basics: what is parametric testing and why is it important?
  • Challenges faced today by PIC manufacturers and T&M vendors
  • Discover: new solutions to characterize PICs