INSPIRED builds a platform for high end optical receiver chips for consumer applications like optical storage or data transmission. The technology development part integrates a fast PIN-photodiode into a modern BICMOS process incl. packaging with high optical quality and additional features like filters. In the product related part a demonstrator for DVD applications is developed on this process base. It assembles photodiode, amplifier and data processing blocks on one chip and targets on high performance in terms of data rate, power consumption and signal to noise ratio. This demonstrator is implemented into a DVD test drive as customer like application. The more fundamental part develops testing concepts & hardware for product characterisation and new design concepts for future silicon optoelectronic products.
In the first European initiative to join silicon optoelectronics competence, the INSPIRED consortium will develop a low-cost integrated photodiode with extremely high data rates (500 MBit/s to 1 GBit/s), low power consumption and high signal-to-noise ratio for mass application. The main challenge of this innovative project is to integrate a fast photodiode in a high speed IC technology which allows the design of amplifier circuits and signal processing blocks. A packaging technology with high optical quality is also an essential part of this project. From the big range of possible applications, the target application DVD has been chosen for this project. The INSPIRED project addresses several different IST objectives: optical storage technology, optical data communication, low costs, reliability, enhanced quality of service, advanced opto- and micro-electronics.
The target parameters of the integrated photodiode will be based on the process ideas, device simulation, packaging features, and requirements of the target application DVD.
- Development of new process modules (fast npn transistor, fast PIN-photodiode, antireflection coating) that are vital for products with high data rates and sensitivity
- Development of process steps for the new modules, considering feasibility, process concept, process and device simulation, process integration under high volume fabrication aspects (leading to low cost products).
Three production cycles including wafer test:
1) single device elements (photodiodes, transistors) as test structures,
2) photodiodes in combination with new high gain-bandwidth transimpedance amplifier circuits (prototype),
3) photodiodes, amplifiers, signal processing blocks (demonstrator for DVD applications)
- Test chips based on new concepts in BICMOS and CMOS circuit design for testing on wafer level (probe cards) and with packaging (computerised measurement setup)
- Definition and development of a demonstrator, e.g. a receiver for DVD drives with high data rates of approximately 500Mbit/s as well as fabrication on the basis of new technology
- Wafer based packaging technology to improve performance of packaged PD: addition of features like antireflection coating and backside trench isolation for noise reduction. Customer requirements are taken into consideration.
The INSPIRED management committee will monitor the progress of the project, assess the quality of the achieved results, and represent the consortium before the Commission.
- Technology Development: Process base for engineering samples, Process freeze, Component library, Process qualification, Process yield (> 75%)
- Prototype & Demonstrator Development: Tape outs/First processed wafers/packaged chips of all three production cycles and new design structures, chip implementation in DVD drive, DVD drive working, product qualification, sample shipment to customer
- Prototype & Demonstrator characterisation: data rate (> 500 MBit/s), quantum efficiency (> 80%).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts