Researchers at the University of Sydney Nano Institute have developed a small silicon semiconductor chip that combines electronics with light components. This new technology increases the bandwidth for radio-frequency and allows for better control of information passing through the chip. This means that more information can flow through the chip and the inclusion of photonics enables advanced filter controls, making it a versatile new semiconductor device.
The chip is expected to be used in advanced radar, satellite systems, wireless networks, and the development of 6G and 7G telecommunications. It will also be important for sovereign manufacturing and the creation of high-tech factories. The chip is made using an emerging technology in silicon photonics that integrates diverse systems on semiconductors less than 5 millimeters wide.
The method of integrating diverse materials has been in development for 10 years and allows Australia to develop its own chip manufacturing without relying solely on international foundries. The chip was designed in collaboration with scientists at the Australian National University and built at the University of Sydney Nanoscience Hub.
The chip has an impressive bandwidth of tunable frequencies, offering the potential to reshape the semiconductor landscape and pave the way for new compact, high-resolution RF photonic filters.
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