Photonic Memory Controller Module (P-MCM)

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Freedom Photonics LLC
41 Aero Camino Array
Goleta, CA 93117
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


As computational density for high- performance computing and big-data services continues to scale, performance scalability of next generation computing systems is becoming increasingly constrained by limitations in memory access, power dissipation and chip packaging. The processor-memory communication bottleneck, a major challenge in current multicore processors due to limited pin-out and power budget, presents a detrimental scaling barrier to data-intensive computing. General statement of how this problem is being addressed: A consortium team of small businesses and leading researchers that includes experts from photonics processor-memory architecture, III/V photonic laser design/fabrication, silicon photonics design/fabrication, photonics packaging and assembly, and FPGA-based high performance memory controller IP development – to collaboratively develop a commercialization path for a Photonic Memory Controller Module (P-MCM). What is to be done in Phase I?: Columbia University will coordinate the working group and subgroups to provide the system architecture and specifications for each small business consortium team members. Columbia will develop high performance memory controller IPs and interfaces in FPGAs platform. Freedom Photonics will develop the programmable, tunable laser using mature InP/GaAs processing. Analog Photonics will develop the photonic transceiver and interconnect fabrics using silicon photonic processing through the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Integrated Photonics multi-project wafer and assembly (MPWA) facilities. PLC Connections will package the photonic transceiver and interconnect fabric chips and tunable laser chips, and provide a low-loss and robust optical coupling mechanism. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The Photonic Memory Controller developed have wide commercial applications in data center and telecom markets.