The successful realization of optical interconnects for inter- and intra-chip communication strongly depends on the use of a light source that is compatible with existing, well established manufacturing processes – primarily CMOS/VLSI. The problematic integration of III-V light sources with CMOS technology has not been surmounted thus far. While silicon is ill-suited as an optical material, silicon based light sources present a huge advantage: complete monolithic integration using existing CMOS processes. This advantage can only be exploited if these devices show sufficient switching speed and optical power emission to make high speed clock and data transmission feasible.
This paper illustrates the switching speed of silicon based light emitting devices in excess of 100 MHz and the viability of using such a device for an all-silicon optical link for clock and data