Forecasts of the interconnect bandwidth trands in datacenters (DC) reveal that DC traffic will increase significantly while most of the DC traffic will remain within the DC in the next years. The study from Cisco’s global cloud index 2014-2019 shows a DC traffic growth by 33 % CAGR and a traffic of >73 % within the DC. To accomodate these demands for efficient DC growth, interconnects with high-bandwidth energy-efficent and compact I/Os are required. For this reason primarily optical interconencts will be implemented.
In order to achieve high-bandwidth energy-efficent and compact optical interconnects the electro-optical systems and components have to be fully integrated on chip. Therefore, optical interconnects have to undergo the same paradigm change as electronics in the last century. Looking back to the 1960s electronics was very bulky as indiated in the pictures below taken at the Computer History Museum. Using CMOS electronics as well as PCB and assembly technologies today, it is possible to integrate and scale logic functions and interconnects. Looking at optics, this evolution resembles. Scaling and integration of transceiver technology requires seamless electro-optical integration including the integration of optical connectivity and signal distribution.
DIMENSION project aims for establish a truly integrated electro-optical platform, extending the silicon (Bi)CMOS and silicon photonics platform with III-V photonic functionality where the III-V integration concept is for the first time fully CMOS compatible and enables a BREAKTHROUGH integration technology.