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Integrated Photonics Transform Data Center Interconnects (DCI)

White Paper

The Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), streaming video, 5G, and more force data centers to scale exponentially. Service providers need to increase the bandwidth of existing fiber lines in data center interconnects (DCIs) to support the increasing network traffic these technologies generate. Chip and board manufacturers need to face the reality that Moore’s Law – the expectation that the number of transistors that can be placed onto silicon chips within integrated circuits doubles every two years – has reached its limit. All these factors are a tipping point for silicon photonics, a technology that promises a new wave of chips, systems, and optical components to address the growing need for faster and more data.


By using optical rays, silicon photonics systems can transmit more data, more efficiently, and at a faster rate compared to traditional electrical circuits and systems while saving energy. In particular, integrated photonics – also known as photonic integrated circuits (PICs) – are on the verge of creating a new paradigm in circuit design. It’s widely believed that PICs are a disruptive technology for short-range connections in and between data centers, as well as long-haul optical communication networks.


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