Microdisplay technology, the miniaturization and integration of small displays for various applications, is predominantly
based on OLED and LCoS technologies. Silicon light emission from hot carrier electroluminescence has been shown to
emit light visibly perceptible without the aid of any additional intensification, although the electrical to optical
conversion efficiency is not as high as the technologies mentioned above. For some applications, this drawback may be
traded off against the major cost advantage and superior integration opportunities offered by CMOS microdisplays using
integrated silicon light sources. This work introduces an improved version of our previously published microdisplay by
making use of new efficiency enhanced CMOS light emitting structures and an increased display resolution.
Silicon hot carrier luminescence is often created when reverse biased pn-junctions enter the breakdown regime where
impact ionization results in carrier transport across the junction. Avalanche breakdown is typically unwanted in modern
CMOS processes. Design rules and process design are generally tailored to prevent breakdown, while the voltages
associated with breakdown are too high to directly interact with the rest of the CMOS standard library. This work shows
that it is possible to lower the operating voltage of CMOS light sources without compromising the optical output power.
This results in more efficient light sources with improved interaction with other standard library components.
This work proves that it is possible to create a reasonably high resolution microdisplay while integrating the active
matrix controller and drivers on the same integrated circuit die without additional modifications, in a standard CMOS
An integrated silicon light source still remains the Holy Grail for integrated optical communication systems. Hot carrier
luminescent light sources provide a way to create light in a standard CMOS process, potentially enabling cost effective
optical communication between CMOS integrated circuits. In this paper we present a 1 Mb/s integrated silicon optical
link for information transfer, targeting a real-world integrated solution by connecting two PCs via a USB port while
transferring data optically between the devices. This realization represents the first optical communication product
prototype utilizing a CMOS light emitter. The silicon light sources which are implemented in a standard 0.35 μm CMOS
technology are electrically modulated and detected using a commercial silicon avalanche photodiode. Data rates
exceeding 10 Mb/s using silicon light sources have previously been demonstrated using raw bit streams. In this work
data is sent in two half duplex streams accompanied with the separate transmission of a clock. Such an optical
communication system could find application in high noise environments where data fidelity, range and cost are a
The idea of integrating a light emitter and detector in the cost effective and mature technology which is CMOS remains
an attractive one. Silicon light emitters, used in avalanche breakdown, are demonstrated to switch at frequencies above
1 GHz whilst still being electrically detected, a three-fold increase on previous reported results. Utilizing novel BEOLstack
reflectors and increased array sizes have resulted in an increased power efficiency allowing multi-Mb/s data rates.
In this paper we present an all-silicon optical communication link with data rates exceeding 10 Mb/s at a bit error rate of
less than 10-12, representing a ten-fold increase over the previous fastest demonstrated silicon data link. Data rates
exceeding 40 Mb/s are also presented and evaluated. The quality of the optical link is established using both eye diagram
measurements as well as a digital communication system setup. The digital communication system setup comprises the
generation of 232-1 random data, 8B/10B encoding and decoding, data recovery and the subsequent bit error counting.