Opportunities and Challenges in Silicon Photonics for Systems
Silicon photonics has become a key solution to tackle the demands on current communication systems and information processing because the use of this platform can reduce power consumption, eliminate electrical to optical conversion and leverage mature CMOS fabrication techniques. As silicon photonic devices are introduced into system-level applications, new challenges need to be addressed. This thesis will present some solutions to these challenges. These challenges range from device design and functionality to the post-processing and testing of silicon photonic devices. First, the system-level testing of a silicon photonic switch with crosstalk using real Ethernet datastreams is presented. Next, a rapid characterization technique for processing of silicon photoinc switches is shown. Finally, the functionality of barrel shifting is demonstrated in silicon photonics. The challenges and the solutions presented in this thesis are key steps to realizing the promise of system-level applications of silicon photonic devices.