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POET Technologies steps toward goal of commercializing opto-platform


POET Technologies Inc., San Jose CA, a developer of opto-electronics fabrication processes for the semiconductor industry, has taken one more significant step toward its goal of developing a fully integrated commercial opto-electronic technology platform.

The specific and significant milestone achieved is the first demonstration of functional Hetero-junction Field Effect Transistors (HFETs) down to 250nm effective gate lengths on the same proprietary epitaxy and utilizing the same integrated process sequence that was previously used to demonstrate high performance detectors. This milestone is the latest in POET’s initiative to integrate a detector, HFET and laser together into a single chip, the three key components of an active optical cable, a current market target for POET.

Integrated opto-electronic product

“Two of the three critical individual pieces of an integrated opto-electronic product are now in place and undergoing their respective optimization cycles,” said Dr. Subhash Deshmukh, POET’s Chief Operating Officer. “As reported earlier, we have encountered delays in completing the VCSEL milestone. The VCSEL continues to be our focus, even while we simultaneously make progress on other aspects of the technology. The characterization that has been done to date on the VCSEL points to required optimization of a few layers in a very complex and unique epitaxial stack and fine tuning of the resonant cavity mode. The new and optimized epitaxial structure is expected to be delivered to the foundry for processing over the next couple of months,” said Dr. Deshmukh. “We have not uncovered any fundamental show-stoppers. We are charting new territory here and as pointed out at the recent town hall meeting and at the annual meeting of shareholders, technical issues are commonly encountered throughout the R&D process and we are systematically understanding and addressing these issues.”

POET has already demonstrated electrical functionality of the VCSEL with desired thyristor characteristics and demonstrated lasing modes through optical pumping of the VCSEL cavity (in other words light emission was detected on the epitaxial wafer surface). However in order to enable electrical pumping of the VCSEL, the team has had to redesign some aspects of the epitaxial stack. VCSEL functionality was previously verified in a lab setting and the functionality of that original laser has been retested and reconfirmed.

“POET management is delighted to report this new achievement and reaffirms their confidence in the roadmap and progress in the lab to fab to commercialization of monolithic opto-electronic products. We will provide the next update around the earnings call, which we intend to schedule for early Q4 2016,” said Dr. Suresh Venkatesan.