Speaker: Prof. Hossein Hashemi, University of Southern California
Advancements in semiconductor manufacturing, computer-aided design tools, and integrated circuit architectures have enabled monolithic realization of 1 – 100 GHz radiofrequency phased arrays in commercial foundry processes for automotive radars, commercial wireless communications (e.g., 5G), and other applications. Optical phased arrays enable imaging, sensing, display, holography, free space optical communications, and many other applications. For instance, a phased array lidar reduces the size, weight, and power consumption of traditional mechanically-scanning lidars while it enhances the reliability, flexibility, and functionality. Challenges associated with monolithic realization of optical phased arrays include compact realization of optical phased array components; sensitivity of the phased array to fabrication tolerances and process variations given the short wavelength of optical frequencies; inadequate models, CAD tools, and systematic design methodologies. In this talk, it is shown that a holistic approach that takes inspirations from complex radio-frequency integrated circuits can enable realization of complex optical integrated circuits with unprecedented functionalities. The talk will cover the basics, applications, and past realizations of optical phased arrays followed by our demonstrations of large-scale monolithic optical phased arrays in a commercial foundry CMOS SOI technology. The talk will also cover design of silicon photonic components that benefit large-scale realization of optical phased arrays. Ongoing challenges and research directions will also be discussed.