The fotonica System
The fotonica System
fotonica combines customized hardware stages and intelligent software to automate silicon photonic device testing. While the hardware is optimized for specific applications like vertically-coupled fibers, edge-coupled fibers, and electrical probes, the software adds the magic to make these things work in concert with your existing equipment. The diagram below is a schematic representation of how fotonica might integrate with your existing instruments. Specialized algorithms efficiently align fibers to integrated devices while environmental monitoring provides real-time feedback on ambient conditions.
Finding optical I/Os can be challenging. fotonica’s raster function scans a user-defined XY plane on the chip and reports on any returned power. The user can then snap to the I/O's and optimize alignment using fine-align routines.
Insertion angles often need optimization to maximize optical coupling. The vertically-coupled fiber stage is designed to support 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) with center rotations around the fiber tip. This feature saves time by allowing small optimizations to be made without moving the fiber away from the chip. Many axes can be manually adjusted (to save cost) or motorized for additional convenience.
fotonica’s application-specific alignment routines optimize the position of single fibers or fiber arrays to optical I/Os to maximize coupling efficiency.
While fotonica provides the ability to quickly find a single device and test it, the ‘chip registration’ feature allows for automated testing of thousands of devices in a single test run without any user intervention.
A setup consisting of a chip stage, edge-coupled fiber stage, a vertically-coupled fiber stage, and 2 alignment cameras fits on a 1'x1' breadboard. Hardware assemblies support various configurations — whether its edge coupling through individual fibers from the same side of the chip, different sides of the chip, or using a fiber array. Electrical interconnects can also easily be added. The stage controllers can be rack mounted and placed out of the way.
The software was designed to easily integrate new instruments (like lasers, power meters, source meters, and TEC) and custom hardware solutions with minimal effort.
fotonica's magic is its software. Designed in a way that intuitively walks the user through the steps required to automate testing, the UI simplifies instrument control while providing access to advanced features through buttons or scripting. In addition, it's designed for sharing — saving an individual's preferences and instrument settings for the next time they use the system. The video below highlights some of the powerful features fotonica provides in testing silicon photonic devices.