Based on the innovation park of the Swiss Federal École Polytechnique in Lausanne, the start-up manufactures photonic integrated circuits (PICs), for the most high-tech sectors of the industry.
LIGENTEC, for Light Generating Technologies, was born in 2016 after 2 years of hard work at the Lausanne École Polytechnique. Dr. Michael Zervas, Dr. Michael Geiselmann et Prof. Tobias Kippenberg were 3 business owners specializing in the study and fabrication of photon-based components. In 2014, they had already understood that integrated circuits technology could solve many problems for developers and manufacturers of the products of the future, often limited in capacity and speed. They created LIGENTEC to offer more reliable and more efficient chips, allowing manufacturers of Artificial Intelligence, biosensors and laser detection and ranging (LiDAR) as well as the space industry to create even more innovative products. According to the founders of LIGENTEC, these areas will soon be at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution, which will see robots, autonomous vehicles and quantum computers getting a foothold on the market.
NEW GENERATION CHIPS FOR THE PRODUCTS OF THE FUTURE
The three partners then created a unique technology called all-nitride-core. Silicon nitride is indeed a material that showing great advantages for photonics. Its transparency for a broad band of optical frequencies allows it to propagate great powers of light. Traditional electronic chips have too limited functions for the new applications of 4.0 industry. At first, the photonic chips will be used in combination with electronic ones, but a replacement of certain functions of electronic chips is considered. With silicon nitride chips, only light makes the systems work, thus they can become more and more complex. LIGENTEC integrated circuits produce very high performance and allow to produce ultra-innovative products: real-time genetic analysis, augmented reality, quantum computers and communication… No, this is not sci-fi, but a new company from Lausanne, Switzerland!
A THICK AND PERFORMING COMPONENT REVOLUTIONIZING THE FIELD
How is silicon nitride a breakthrough for integrated circuits manufacturers? Dr. Michael Zervas enlightens us: “This material allows us to create chips of unprecedented thickness. When we use photons, which mean light, loss of propagation is 10 times less important with silicon nitride than with other materials. We can then miniaturize a lot of optical components and integrate them on a chip of the size of a fingertip, which is 5 times smaller than standard integrated circuits.” This highly innovative work, provided by a team of 12 people today, has been recognized by its peers, winning this year’s Photonic Integrated Circuits Platform award at the PIC International Conference. This award recognizes advances in the development and application of key material systems driving today’s photonic integrated circuits and providing a stepping stone to future devices.
LIGENTEC therefore works for more efficient and effective technological advances! A company we will follow very closely.