Semiconductor photonic integrated circuits (PICs) can be composed of many active waveguide elements such as lasers, detectors, optical modulators, switches, and optical amplifiers. These elements can be optically coupled via a complex branching network of low loss passive waveguides all on the same semiconductor chip. Some of the more obvious advantages of this technology are the compact, stable, and efficient couplings that can be obtained between the various optical elements of the PIC and also the potential extensive use of optical amplifiers inside the PIC to compensate for undesirable optical losses that may occur inside the optical circuit and in the outside world.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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