Lausanne, Switzerland and Corbeil-Essones, France, June 14, 2023
LIGENTEC AS KEY PARTNER IN EUROPEAN, INDUSTRIAL SILICON PHOTONICS PILOT LINE INITIATIVE
LIGENTEC, the leading supplier of high-performance, low loss, silicon nitride Photonic Integrated Circuits is a key partner in the European initiative “photonixFAB” to prepare for an industrial silicon photonics value chain.
Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are ready to repeat the success of electronic integrated circuits (ICs) and are expected to play a key role in tomorrow’s infrastructure in communication, advanced and quantum computing, sensing and transportation.
For Europe, to be part of this success story and gain sovereignty in this strategic technology sector, it is key to establish an agile and resilient silicon photonics supply chain with leading performance, enabling quick learning cycles to rapidly fast transfer of technologies, from research to industry.
The newly launched pilot line initiative photonixFAB objective is to establish a path towards an European photonics value chain and initial industrial manufacturing capabilities. The consortium covers the main part of the silicon photonics value chain, from design automation via foundry service all the way to end users and includes two major European research institutes. Details on the consortium can be found at www.photonixfab.eu.
“Europe has a leading edge in the research of PICs. photonixFAB is the next necessary step to turn this technology lead into a world leading industry, contributing to the strategic autonomy of Europe”, states LIGENTEC’s CEO Thomas Hessler.
Within photonixFAB, LIGENTEC will focus on the advancement of its low loss Silicon Nitride PIC platform, originally developed at EPFL in Switzerland, recently installed at X-FAB and now commercially accessible as 200mm wafer technology. A key outcome of the project and LIGENTEC’s collaboration with its strategic partner X-FAB, will be an improved offering for agile prototyping with a seamless transfer to volume production.
Further, LIGENTEC will work within the consortium on the integration of lasers, high speed modulators and detectors, by adding III-V material based active devices and electro-optical materials like Lithium Niobate to the low loss SiN PIC platform.
The project is being supported by the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking (KDT JU), with funding from EU and the national authorities. The combination of this funding and the investments being directly made by each of the consortium members comes to a total of Euro 48 million.
LIGENTEC supplies application specific Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to customers in high-tech markets such as quantum computing, advanced computing, communication, autonomous driving, space and biosensors. LIGENTEC’s proprietary, patented and fully CMOS compatible semiconductor fabrication technology, originally developed at EPFL Lausanne, provides PICs at lower cost and better performance than today’s state of the art. It essentially combines the benefits of known, low loss material such as glass with the benefits of silicon photonics and addresses with its low loss, low cost and short production cycle the main challenges of integrated photonics today. LIGENTEC offers a seamless path from R&D to volume, supported by its low entry barrier MPW services and custom PIC developments. LIGENTEC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland and Corbeil-Essonnes, Île-de-France, France.
photonixFAB is co-funded by the European Union under grant agreement no. 101111896. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. The project is supported by the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking and its members including top-up funding by Belgium, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland.