Using light to convey signals around electronic chips could solve several current problems in microelectronic evolution, including power dissipation, interconnect bottleneck, input/output of the chip to optical communication channels, signal bandwidth, and so forth. Unfortunately, silicon is not a good photonic material: it has poor light-emission efficiency and negligible electrooptic effect. Silicon photonics is a field with the objective of improving the physical properties of silicon, thus turning it into a photonic material and allowing full convergence between electronics and photonics. Various research directions based on the use of nano-sized silicon are described in this book. We tried to review the field and to report on recent research results achieved in Trento. In view of the large extent of the field encompassed, it is clear that these results have been possible only with many collaborations worldwide and with the support of many funding agencies.
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