Prof. Hon Ki TSANG

Wei Lun Professor of Electronic Engineering
Department of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, CUHK




Hon Ki Tsang studied Engineering (Electrical and Information Sciences) at Cambridge University, receiving the BA(Hons) in 1987 and PhD in 1991. He was a Research Fellow in Physics at Bath University before he joined CUHK as an Assistant Professor in 1993. In 2002-03, he took no-pay leave from CUHK, to join Bookham Technology, where he led the team that successfully Telcordia-qualified and field-deployed the first silicon photonics products to carry commercial data-traffic in 2002.  He is the Wei Lun Professor of Electronic Engineering, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of Optica, and the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics.



Silicon Photonics: Advances in Communications, Sensing and Computing beyond Moore’s Law with the use of Photons in Silicon Chips


With new Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) photolithography systems reportedly having exorbitant costs of US$340 million, and the prospect of yet higher costs for the next-generation EUV photolithography systems needed to further shrink the size of transistors, it is becoming apparent that continuing the strategy of reducing transistor size to continue Moore’s Law may no longer be the best approach to improve the performance of integrated circuits.


Since 2018 microelectronic foundries such as Global Foundries, have been pursuing alternative strategies. Silicon photonics offers new functional capabilities and has the potential to realize advances in system performances beyond what is possible with state-of the-art microelectronics. Silicon photonics use photons instead of electrons to transmit and process signals in silicon chips which are manufactured with the same mature, high-yield, large-volume manufacturing processes developed for the previous generations (e.g., 65 nm technology node) of silicon microelectronics. Companies developing silicon photonics have already attracted billions of dollars in market valuations in recent years because of the potential applications of silicon photonics in data center transceivers, LIDAR imaging systems for autonomous vehicles, energy-efficient artificial intelligence accelerators and error-tolerant quantum computers.


We introduce some of these recent opportunities that are being addressed using silicon photonics in industry before we describe some of the recent research at CUHK on silicon photonics for high-capacity optical interconnects in data centers using polarization and mode-division-multiplexing. We shall also describe our work on silicon photonics for high-speed dynamic optical coherence tomography, and our work on integrated coherent networks for energy-efficient matrix processors.