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Benefits of Integration

The functionality of a particular Photonic Crystal device is determined purely by the geometry of the lattice of air-holes - it is this fact that makes PC technology so integrable. Different areas of an optical chip will have processing functions determined by the positioning of the air-holes within a given structure. Each of these device areas can be linked by planar optical waveguides, and in this fashion a complete optical circuit function can be built up from a PC device database. This is in direct analogy with building up complex electronic circuits from standard cells. However, what makes the PC approach even simpler (and more amenable to mass production) is that the ONLY change from one device cell to the next is the air-hole pattern, and this pattern is contained in a single mask step!