Partnering opportunity

A Dutch SME offers Photonic Integrated Circuit modules based on silicon-nitride waveguide platform technology

Summary

A Dutch SME is a leading global provider of a silicon-nitride based waveguide platform technology to develop and produce photonic integrated circuits (PICs). Most important advantages are low propagation losses of the PIC, an extensive library with validated building blocks and low cost multi project wafer runs. The SME is interested in commercial agreements with technical assistance to Original Equipment Manufacturers and system integrators using PICs in applications.

Partner sought

Type of partner: Industry Partners: The desired partner(s) are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) or system integrators that supply PICs based modules to an application area. Examples of application areas are next fifth generation communication (5G), sensors, structural monitoring, medical diagnostics, autonomous driving and ultra-secure cryptography. Role of the partner: The partner is desired to bring in the PIC specifications and requirements for the application of the PIC. The Dutch SME offers the development tools, production and post processing of the PIC. The Dutch SME is interested in commercial agreements with technical assistance.

Description

A Dutch SME is a leading global provider of customized microsystem solutions, in particular integrated photonics-based, in scalable production volumes. The SME provides customized solutions for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators, from design to fully assembled modules. The SME focuses on design and fabrication of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) enabled modules based on a silicon nitride waveguide platform technology. This silicon nitride based platform has specific advantages for a broad spectral operation range from 400 – 2350 nanometer and provides ultra-low propagation loss. The company addresses emerging markets such as photonic integrated modules in fifth generation (5G) networks, microwave photonics, life science, industrial process control and space. Telecom/Datacom High frequency (1-100 Gigahertz) signal processing on a PIC provides huge benefits over conventional free-space optics systems, or radio frequency based electrical designs, in terms of performance, size, weight and power consumption. Integrated microwave photonics provides a high level of on-chip integration and enables new features and functions in data/telecom applications such as beamforming, wavelength multiplexing, filtering and quantum computing. Life Science Since the PIC modules also operate in the visible range, applications in life sciences can also benefit from photonic integration as compact robust and cost effective systems can be made. Together with an assembly method that is optimized for use of the visible light, The SME can offer modules for fluorescence microscopy, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, flow-cytometry and many more application that require the manipulation of light. The waveguide platform integrates well with microfluidic approaches and supports local functionalization of the surfaces. This allows further integration of (bio)sensors in Lab-on-a-chip and flow chemistry applications. Metrology In many applications for optical metrology, one or more lasers are used to measure distances, surfaces or motion. As PIC modules can manipulate the laser light with high precision, new compact and robust PIC modules in metrology applications are possible. Applications like laser Interferometry (homodyne, heterodyne and multi wavelength detection), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and spectrometry benefit from the compact devices, highly integrated functions and the robust designs. The SME is used to work closely with OEMs and system integrators in product development projects and is interested in commercial agreements with technical assistance. The Dutch SME enables easy access to the state of the art photonic technology and provides training on design tools, simulation tools, mask layout software, building blocks and design tools. In addition post processing can be offered on request like etching, packaging particularly in combination with fiber to chip coupling, glass bonding, fluidic connections and polishing. The partner, OEM or system integrator, is desired to be a co-developer and to deliver the specifications for the functionalities of the photonic chip and to be a co-developer.

Advantages and innovations

To enable a low cost and easy access to photonic integrated circuit technology multi project wafer (MPW) runs are offered in a low loss silicon-nitride based waveguide platform technology. The MPW offering includes a process design kit containing validated and specified building blocks. One of the important building blocks is a tunable laser that is attached on the chip by offering a hybrid assembly method to connect an Indium Phosphide based gain section. The main characteristics and advantages of the silicon-nitride based waveguide platform technology are: • The technology is designed for components based on single polarization applications to operate at the telecom wavelength (1550 nanometer). However life science and sensing applications are also possible for wavelengths from the visible range to 2350 nanometer. • The waveguides show a low propagation loss. • The high contrast waveguide allows bend radii of 125 micron, which make very large scale integration (VSLI) on chip possible • The coupling to and from a fiber from the high contrast waveguide is optimized by the addition of spot size converters, which expand the mode profile to the size of a standard telecom fiber, allowing low loss fiber chip coupling.

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