, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp 1961-1967

The Moore’s Law for photonic integrated circuits

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We formulate a “Moore’s law” for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and their spatial integration density using two methods. One is decomposing the integrated photonics devices of diverse types into equivalent basic elements, which makes a comparison with the generic elements of electronic integrated circuits more meaningful. The other is making a complex component equivalent to a series of basic elements of the same functionality, which is used to calculate the integration density for functional components realized with different structures. The results serve as a benchmark of the evolution of PICs and we can conclude that the density of integration measured in this way roughly increases by a factor of 2 per year. The prospects for a continued increase of spatial integration density are discussed.