07 August 2017
CST Global, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sivers IMA Holdings AB and the UK’s leading, independent, III-V opto-electronic, semiconductor foundry is leading the government-funded, ‘Diode Laser manufacturing process using Nano-imprint lithography’ (DiLaN) project. The DiLaN project aims to produce high-speed DFB lasers with significantly larger broadband line rates than currently available, whilst using a new manufacturing process aimed at reducing laser costs by a third.
Andrew McKee (pictured), Director of Engineering at CST Global stated, “The massive growth in broadband communications for the Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) market has two, key, driving factors. The first is a rapid increase in demand for single-mode, semiconductor laser solutions, currently exceeding 100 million new units per year. The second is that the data rate capability of lasers using current Passive Optical Networking (PON) technology, at around 1.25-2.5 Gb/s, is not enough to satisfy the ever-increasing bandwidth demands of next-generation networks.
“Nano-imprint lithography is widely recognized as the most credible method of producing high throughput, high-resolution, single-mode, semiconductor lasers at low cost. The lasers also operate in the 1310 – 1550nm wavelength spectrum, which is known to support the increased line rates necessary for next generation networks.”
The DiLaN project is seeking to implement a commercially viable, nano-imprint lithography production process for high volume DFB semiconductor lasers. This would deliver the increased data rates of 25Gbps and the required cost saving, estimated at up to 30% per laser. CST Global is the project leader, with support from academic partners Cardiff University and the University College of Swansea & West Wales with additional commercial partner Compound Semiconductor Centre Limited, Cardiff.
The DiLaN project grant is valued at £821,319.00, with CST Global receiving £268,094.00. The funding organization is Innovate UK, a UK government, research funding agency for engineering and the physical sciences. The DiLaN project runs from February 2017 to January 2019.