Benchmark Details Challenges of Aligning Photonic Integrated Circuits

by Benchmark / June 24, 2022

As part of an article appearing in Photonics Media by Science Writer Michael Eisenstein, “As PIC Production Ramps Up, Fabricators Eye Alignment Options,” Benchmark presented its passive photonic alignment technique for optimizing the performance of interconnected PICs and optical fibers.

Benchmark shared its assembly expertise and experience in overcoming one of the greatest challenges in building high-speed photonics systems: aligning photonic integrated circuits (PICs) to fiber optics or lenses. cables. Precise alignment is needed to conserve signal strength and achieve target Bit Error Rates (BERs) over today's demanding networks. Benchmark has proven over time that its assembly and test methods lead to high yields, even with overly sensitive components.

As explained in the article, for PICs that must align precisely with the cross sections of optical waveguide; even an extremely small misalignment can mean a significant loss of optical power from the PIC to the cable. Benchmark has shown the quality of its photonics assembly, manufacturing, and test processes in terms of high yields when performing PIC-to-fiber alignments.

Benchmark offers both current generation active alignment services and next generation passive alignment process development as well. Either can be used in conjunction with an auto peak lock function during UV cure to keep the optical element locked onto the Gaussian output during alignment and curing. Benchmark’s photonic alignment methodology focuses on quality and precision over outright alignment speed. Continuous monitoring during the alignment process ensures that yield can be kept high and scrap low. Achieving proper PIC to optical element alignment is critical in today’s mixed-signal environment with emphasis on higher data rates and lower BERs.

Read the complete article here.

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