Large-scale optical phased array using a low-power multi-pass silicon photonic platform

Steven A. Miller, You Chia Chang, Christopher T. Phare, Min Chul Shin, Moshe Zadka, Samantha P. Roberts, Brian Stern, Xingchen Ji, Aseema Mohanty, Oscar A. Jimenez Gordillo, Utsav D. Dave, Michal Lipson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Optical phased arrays are a promising beam-steering technology for ultra-small solid-state lidar and free-space communication systems. Long-range, high-performance arrays require a large beam emission area densely packed with thousands of actively phase-controlled, power-hungry light emitting elements. To date, such large-scale phased arrays have been impossible to realize since current demonstrated technologies would operate at untenable electrical power levels. Here we show a multi-pass photonic platform integrated into a large-scale phased array that lowers phase shifter power consumption by nearly 9 times. The multi-pass structure decreases the power consumption of a thermo-optic phase shifter to a Pπ of 1.7 mW/π without sacrificing speed or optical bandwidth. Using this platform, we demonstrate a silicon photonic phased array containing 512 actively controlled elements, consuming only 1.9 W of power while performing 2D beam steering over a 70 × 6 field of view. Our results demonstrate a path forward to building scalable phased arrays containing thousands of active elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2020


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