Dynamic Photonics Inc. (DPI) enables optical communication to go faster, and reach further, while using less energy and taking up less space. Our technology improves the sensitivity of Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs) by up to 6dB, which translates into a multiplication (at least doubling) of performance, when measured by speed, and even greater improvements when measured by distance.

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Our core innovation was developed at the University of New Mexico, was initially lab tested in 2015 at speeds of 3 and 5 Gbps, both by DPI and in tests at the University of Virginia. In 2016 we tested the the innovation at speeds of 10 and 12.5 Gbps. Recently, we have upgrade our testbed for 25 Gbps, and simultaneously scaling up the speed of our demonstration unit. DPI has recently demonstrated that dynamic biasing enables the 25 Gbps operation of an off-the-shelf InGaAs-InP 10 Gbps APD operating at a speed of 25 Gbps.

In the process of moving from theory to practice, we have developed substantial IP around the core innovation.

The technology is applicable to APDs at any speed, but we believe that the market sweet spot is in the emerging 400G standard at 2km – 20km reach. There is currently limited solutions for this space, which is of substantial interest to data center operators looking to interconnect their centers, for replication, backup, synchronization, and fall-over. The dynamic-basing solution is also applicable to the emerging high-speed silicon-germanium APDs, which makes is attractive to the silicon-photonic market.

The model is a fabless semiconductor company, and we see more than adequate capacity in the industry to build our chip at a very competitive price. One advantage we have is that while we do require high speed, our component density is quite low, and thus does not require the latest generation of lithography. The older processes are easily available, and less expensive.

Our competition is the emerging coherent detection market. Coherent detection is much more complex than the direct detection used by APDs, but has advantages in bit rate, and reach. Coherent does require a laser to mix with the incoming signal, which adds to part count, complexity, and expense. We believe that there remains a large window of opportunity in the direct detection market, especially given the extreme price sensitivity of data center operators.

Want More Info About the Technology?

  1. M. M. Hayat, “Dynamic biasing of APDs,” invited talk, IEEE Photonics Conference (IPC-2015), Reston, VA, 2015. http://www.ipc-ieee.org/
  2. M. M. Hayat, P. Zarkesh-Ha, G. El-Howayek, R. Efroymson, and J. C. Campbell, “Breaking the buildup-time limit of sensitivity in avalanche photodiodes by dynamic biasing,” Optics Express, vol. 23, no. 18, pp. 24035-24041, 2015. http://ece-research.unm.edu/hayat//OE_2015.pdf
  3. M. M. Hayat and D. A. Ramirez,“ Multiplication theory for dynamically biased avalanche photodiodes: new limits for gain bandwidth product,” Optics Express, Vol. 20, No. 7, pp. 8025-8040, 2012. http://ece-research.unm.edu/hayat//Hayat_OE_2012.pdf
  4. G. El-howayek and M. M. Hayat, “Error probabilities for optical receivers that employ dynamically biased avalanche photodiodes,” IEEE Trans. Communications, vol. 39, pp. 3325–3335, 2015.
  5. “Impact Ionization Devices Under Dynamic Electric Fields.” M. M. Hayat, D. A. Ramirez, J. P. David, L. Lester, S. Krishna, and P. Zarkesh-Ha, U.S. Patent 9,354,113, May 2016. (Licensed.)