LightScale® Hybrid Integration

Kaiam’s transceivers are built using Kaiam’s LightScale® platform to deliver superior scalability, power consumption, value, performance, and flexibility. The simplified “flattened” architecture of the new LightScale2 platform eliminates legacy hermetic gold boxes to improve electrical and thermal performance while increasing density, scalability and decreasing cost and power consumption.

All of the LightScale platforms use Kaiam’s patented Optical Wire Bond™ (OWB™) and SCOTS™ Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) technologies. OWB enables hybrid optical integration of best-in-class technologies with high optical coupling efficiency, high parallelism, compactness, robustness, and low-cost. Kaiam’s world-class SCOTS PLCs provide key transceiver optical functions such as wavelength multiplexing/demultiplexing, power splitting, and mode size conversion. Many other optical functions are implemented in our PLCs, including optical switching, polarization beam-splitting, waveplates, and beam-steering. Figure 1 shows the relationship between Kaiam’s various technologies.


The LightScale2 Advantage

Kaiam’s LightScale2 platform provides significant advantages over legacy platforms used by competitors. Those legacy platforms use small bulk optical components that are positioned by human operators and fixed in place with adhesives. This process is mature but has severe limitations meeting challenging future requirements for higher densities, higher speeds, and lower costs.


•  Scalability: Per-channel speed, parallelism, density
•  Power: Electrical power consumption
•  Value: Combines performance and cost advantages
•  Performance: Optical and electrical characteristics and margins
•  Flexibility: Ease of customization, adding new functionality

Silicon Photonics (SiPh) has received a huge amount of attention and funding based on the idea that silicon electronics’ scale and economics can be brought to optics. While SiPh has been successful in certain niches (e.g. parallel single mode transceivers), it lacks the flexibility and optical performance to meet many future needs. Optical systems pose many challenges that electronics does not, and thus SiPh is likely to continue to be appropriate for only certain niche applications. Specifically, the multiple wavelength lasers and wavelength demultiplexers required in compact pluggable WDM data center transceivers are very challenging to implement using SiPh.


Kaiam’s LightScale2 platform, incorporating OWB and SCOTS PLCs, uses hybrid optical integration of best-in-class components, optimizing performance, flexibility, and cost.