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Technology

what's behind it all

There is no doubt that humanity is facing a substantial technological upheaval. Digitization, automation, cloud computing, networking, artificial intelligence (AI), energy efficiency, climate neutrality will change and reshape almost every area of human life.

Internet Traffic has been growing exponentially for many years. Due to the growing importance of the internet and the constant encroachment of AI, internet of things, and automation, the worldwide energy demand is also increasing.

Today data centres in the EU alone use three per cent of the total energy consumed in the EU.

Today data centres in the EU alone use three per cent of the total energy consumed in the EU. According to forecasts, data volumes will double within two years. The current silicon-based computer chip technology alone is not the solution because it will reach its physical limits soon.
For decades research has been conducted on new materials or promising technologies to meet future requirements. These requirements demand the future chip technology to be more energy efficient than today, suitable for mass production, inexpensive, enabling more powerful processors and of course allowing new chip architectures.

Photonic circuits hold the promise to unleash performance-hungry applications such as AI, communication in data centres, 5G networks, chip-to-chip communication or optical on-chip sensors. These applications require, besides photonic circuits, also the control of electronics. Currently there are two main strategies to combine electronics and photonics: either by bonding of photonic on electronic chips or to use silicon photonics.

Currently there are two dissatisfying main strategies for combining electronics and photonics.

The first option is costly and allows no ultimate scaling. The latter is one specific combination of electronics and photonics that has significant cuts in performance. The ongoing transformation requires chips with electronic and photonic functionality in highest quantity, highest device speed, and lowest price – which is not possible for any combination of electronics and photonics with today’s technology.

Black Semiconductor is developing a technology that allows mass production of high-performance photonics on any electronics.

Black Semiconductor is developing a technology that allows mass production of high-performance photonics on any electronics. The technology enables ultrafast data transfer on and off-chip or performing photonic signal processing as used in AI systems, for example. Our concept leads to a radically new generation of energy efficient and high performance microchips. The unbeatable advantages of two worlds unified in one super-chip. Any chip in the world – like CPUs, GPUs, AI systems, spectrometers for medical applications, to name a few – should be processing or exchange data at the speed of light.

New generation of energy efficient and high performance microchips.

The unbeatable advantages of two worlds unified in one super-chip.

Any chip in the world should be processing or exchange data at the speed of light.

Currently we are developing the first integrated super-chip, combining electronic and photonic circuits in a uniform mass production process without bonding. Our technology is compatible with the machines and technology in the established silicon foundries, which enables a cost-efficient use of our technology. The integration into the back-end of chips and the use of the existing infrastructure is a unique feature of our graphene photonics.

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