The growing demand for data and the challenges faced by data centers, such as reducing power consumption and cost per bit, have increased the significance of Corning’s co-packaged optics (CPO). CPO, which involves integrating optical components into switch boxes, holds great potential in addressing these challenges. While progress has been made in developing electronic components for CPO, the successful implementation of CPO also depends on the design and development of optical system solutions. Specifically, optimizing the complete optical system requires tailored optical components and effective management of the fiber within the switch box. Corning is a key component to the innovation and adaptation of CPO and Fiber-to-the-Chip (FTTC) on-board connectivity technology.
Managing waveguides plays a crucial role in co-packaged optics. The fiber array unit (FAU), responsible for aligning fibers to waveguides, becomes more critical in CPO applications. Achieving low coupling losses requires tight positional tolerances and well-centered cores. Higher-fiber-count FAUs, such as those with 32 or 64 fibers, are needed to accommodate the higher densities in CPO. Manufacturing FAUs for CPO should consider polarization maintaining fiber (PMF) orientation and polarization extinction ratio (PER) maintenance, while retaining the high intrinsic reliability of the fiber. Experience in manufacturing FAUs for telecom settings can be advantageous due to similarities between CPO and telecom applications.