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Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC)

Physical and optical properties of silica are well controlled during the manufacturing process on large diameter wafers. Silica provides good process control, uniformity of refractive indexes, repeatability of parameters and low sensitivity to temperature. Bragg grating fabrication can be achieved with direct etching or UV writing in Ge-doped silica waveguides, according to RIO's proprietary processes.

Hybrid Packaging Technology

RIO's PLANEX™ laser consists of the combination of two sub-components:

  • InP gain chip
  • PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit). Bragg gratings on the PLC determines wavelength of external cavity laser.

The hybrid integration of these sub-components results in a high performance and lower cost products that matches or exceeds the performance of more complicated and higher cost lasers. The novelty of RIO's approach includes:

  • use of semiconductor process technology to build planar Bragg gratings on PLC rather than in fiber
  • new hybrid integration technology to assemble optical components
  • unique design technology to add significant performance advantages.


RIO's laser has a path to integration in both parallel form (multiple wavelengths on the same chip) and functional form (additional component functionality) on the same platform. This integration opportunity is not available to all InP semiconductor lasers. Parallel integration reduces the sequence of discrete manufacturing steps and parts, necessary to provide equivalent functionality. RIO also holds patent protected low temperature PECVD technology, a path to integration with CMOS electronics.