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Electronic Photonic Integrated Circuits and Control Systems

Photonics and electronics have complementary strengths. Photonic systems can operate at frequencies several orders of magnitude higher than electronics, whereas electronics offers extremely high density and easily built memories. Integrated photonic-electronic systems promise to combine advantage of both, leading to advantages in accuracy, reconfigurability and energy efficiency.

Electronic photonic integration provides a wide range of unique advantages which can be exploited for a variety of applications, including quantum computing, telecommunications and high performance computing. 

One of the key goals of electronic photonic integration is the creation of a fully compact, reliable, reconfigurable system with high energy efficiency. Hybrid and monolithic integration provide effective means to achieve this goal. The challenge that remain now is the full integration and the capability to apply in the real world, in particular, photon detector, laser and modulator.


To this end, recently IBM, Samsung and GlobalFoundries jointly announced the capability of continuing Moore’s Law that enabling electronic circuits to be scaled down to 5 nm. This will enable extremely high dense electronic circuit which allow much more sophisticated integration with CMOS compatible photonic integrated circuits. Nevertheless, as progress is made in these areas, the objective is to migrate electronic control functionalities to monolithic circuits, preferably in silicon, so as to finally achieve more complex devices and reduce fabrication cost through high integration density.


An ultimate benefit of full electronic and photonic integration is the possibility for packaging of both nanoelectronic and nanophotonic circuits into a single component. Integration can reduce the current gap in form-factor between electronic and photonic circuit, and lead to a fully-packaged control system platform with high accuracy, reconfigurability and energy efficiency brought about through the power of nanoelectronic and nanophotonic circuits.

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