Characterizing devices with the OVA 5000 – Accelerating R&D in Silicon Photonics

The OVA 5000 – Speeding Development of Silicon Photonics Research

shutterstock_105090482The Luna OVA 5000 has many features and capabilities that can dramatically reduce laboratory test time in the pursuit of Silicon Photonics research. One of the more significant, yet often overlooked, capabilities is the OVA’s ability to measure a device’s linear transfer function and then derive a wide variety of industry standard parameters with a single laser sweep. This mathematical model is in the form of the Jones Matrix, which is a 2 x 2 matrix representing the complete mathematical description of an optical device.  All linear device parameters such as insertion loss, group delay, polarization dependent loss, and polarization mode dispersion, as well as more subtle effects such as a second order PMD that may exist in the device are easily computed from the Jones matrix. The device characterization performed by the OVA encapsulates all optical properties in a single compact matrix that is fundamentally rigorous, making it an ideal tool for modeling and understanding fiber optic systems. With the OVA 5000, scientists and engineers test a component once and then analyze its performance a thousand different ways.  Conventional test methods would require several iterations of testing, each with its own time consuming set up. A single test using conventional test methods provide a single answer to a very specific question; the OVA 5000, by mathematically modeling the device, provides the answer to the original question, and every question thereafter.   

Device Modeling and Simulation

Simulation and modeling tools are an integral part of the design process for electronic integrated circuits and will also be essential in the design and development of photonic integrated circuits on a silicon platform.  By effectively modeling the behavior of these devices, engineers can ensure that costly prototypes perform as expected.  The unique ability of the OVA 5000 to mathematically model a device is perfectly complementary for these simulation tools. The model generated by the OVA5000 can be used as input to modeling and simulation tool kits.  OptSim, a modeling program from Rsoft, has an interface to use the OVA 5000’s Jones matrix as input for its simulation. 

In addition, Luna’s Polarization Analysis Software (PAS) can analyze the device Jones matrix to find the principle polarization response states of the device, based on either device loss or group delay. Using the Jones Matrix, PAS can also simulate the device response to ANY pure polarization state.

Silicon Photonics and the AIM initiative

Effective simulation and modeling will be a critical to advance Silicon Photonics into mass production.  In fact, developing a set of integrated design tools for photonic and combined electronic-photonic components is one of the four main objectives of the AIM initiative.  AIM is the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics and is a public/private consortium whose charter is to remove barriers for the adoption of integrated photonics into industry. 

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