What is a PIC (Photonic Integrated Circuit)?

A PIC is a Photonic Integrated Circuit where light is manipulated on the chip. The fabrication process is similar to the electronic industry where an EIC, or electronic integrated circuit, is the functional chip. For the EIC manipulation is done using voltages and currents (electrons), while in the PIC, manipulations are done using light (photons) with lasers and detectors. It is a new way of accessing markets such as sensing and computation. Both are complementary to each other.

What does LIGENTEC offer?

LIGENTEC offers world-class silicon nitride based PICs, using our proprietary nitride fabrication methods. We offer thicknesses ranging from 100 nm to 800 nm in single layers and multi-layer circuits. Moreover, LIGENTEC supports the customer in both design, layout and packaging of our PICs and can help you reach success in the shortest time possible.

What does MPW mean?

MPW means Multi-Project Wafer run. It is basically a fabrication run, where multiple customer designs (small design area) are placed onto a single reticle (large design area) to share the costs. Fabricating a PIC is associated with a significant fixed cost, while making additional copies is only adding a fractional amount. Hence the MPW is an ideal approach to test, optimize and perfect a new concept prior to committing to a larger fabrication run.

How do I register for an upcoming MPW?

Any customer can register for an upcoming MPW run by contacting the LIGENTEC Sales team through our contact page or directly sending an email to info@ligentec.com. Please have a look at our upcoming schedule here  & follow the LIGENTEC LinkedIn page to see if any special MPW is being made available in the near future.

What does PDK mean?

A PDK is a Process Design Kit, or a package containing several files that help the photonics designer to make a successful design on the LIGENTEC platform. The PDK contains design manuals that explain our layerstack, simulation files to simulate our platform performance, supporting files to assist in drawing the layouts in different mask drawing softwares, and much more. 

How do I get your PDK?

To access our PDK, you need to reach out to the LIGENTEC Sales team via https://www.ligentec.com/pdk/. A Design Kit License Agreement (DKLA) will be provided to you, which needs to be signed by a representative of your company, or university. After having signed the DKLA, the SALES team will provide you with the PDK.

How long does it take to receive the chips?

LIGENTEC is known for its fast turnaround time. Our industry-leading turnaround time on the most popular X1-platform is just 10 weeks after having received a DRC-clean design after the submission deadline. Depending on some extra modules (i.e.: local oxide openings, packaging, …) a few extra weeks are added to the total turnaround time.

Which kind of photonic chips can I get?

LIGENTEC produces LPCVD deposited thin and thick-film silicon nitride waveguides. On top of this core functionality, there are a range of other modules, such as heaters, fiber-couplers, local oxide openings for sensing and heterogeneous integration and more. The design manuals in the PDK specify the properties and performance of each available module.

How do I submit the design?

After having registered for a MPW, the LIGENTEC Sales team will provide you instructions on how to access the LIGENTEC customer portal server through which you can submit your design and receive feedback.

Where is your foundry located?

LIGENTEC is a European PIC provider and has all the fabrication steps done in Europe.

Which are the application areas of your silicon nitride photonic integrated chips?

Key applications are Datacom  / Telecom, LiDAR and Quantum. But PICs offer a solution to wide range of other applications and markets such as beamforming, AR/VR, sensing, wearables, space, atomic clocks, astronomy, neuromorphic computing, 5G, 6G, etc.

Which are the current job openings?

For the current job openings, please read our careers page, and consider following us on LinkedIn, where we regularly post job openings.

Where is LIGENTEC located?

LIGENTEC SA is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. LIGENTEC France is located in the Île-de-France region close to Paris, France.

I would like to meet you personally, how can I do that?

A company visit to any of our sites can be arranged upon request. Feel free to stop by at any of the conferences we are attending. For more information on which conference we are attending, you can check our events page and follow us on our LinkedIn page, where we regularly inform you of our presence and upcoming events.