The objective of this EU-funded project is to establish a European photonics device value chain and initial industrial manufacturing capabilities, providing a path to scalable high-volume manufacturing for innovative product developers.
Today, European excellence in R&D does not sufficiently translate into industrial manufacturing capabilities, market leadership and technological autonomy in various parts of the semiconductor industry. This also applies to the area of silicon photonics. Photonic chip manufacturing for mature markets today, predominantly for data- and telecom applications, does not happen in Europe, but rather in the US and Asia. The integrated photonics market is relatively young, and foundries require increased agility to be in critical development path of emerging markets that are not at high volume yet. Emerging application domains will further drive the growth of silicon photonics in the next five years, both in wafer volume, economical value and societal impact.
The industrial pilot line photonixFAB aims to establish industrial manufacturing capability for current and next-generation silicon photonics products and markets.
From a technology perspective, it builds on three pillars towards this end. Pillar 1 and 2 exist of setting up a large-volume manufacturing platform in X-FAB for respectively IMEC’s silicon-on insulator (SOI) photonics technology and LIGENTEC’s silicon nitride (SiN) photonics technology. Transferring the SOI technology, which has been developed in IMEC, to an industrial environment will set up the first industrial European silicon-on-insulator foundry offering.
photonixFAB will allow to further develop and mature the SOI and SiN platforms to serve high-volume applications in emerging photonic markets such as Lidar, sensing and quantum technologies.
The following six objectives are defined for the photonixFAB project:
- Establish an industrial manufacturing capability in X-FAB for SOI photonics building on IMEC’s SOI platform.
- Extend the industrial manufacturing capability in X-FAB for SiN photonics building on LIGENTEC’s SiN platform.
- Increase maturity of heterogeneous integration of active devices on both SOI and SiN platforms to be low-volume production ready and with a path to high-volume fabrication.
- To demonstrate platform capability through application partners (datacom, data-center, telecom, sensing, olfaction sensor from Aryballe and fiber-interrogator from PhotonFirst).
- Strengthen the European silicon photonics industrial supply chain on EDA, packaging and testing, essential elements to offer production-ready technology.
- Develop an internationally competitive offering which is also accessible to European SME’s.
The main goal is to develop and strengthen the EU open market with a competitive industrial-grade and mass-production scalable SiN and SOI photonics platforms, enhanced with the heterogeneous integration pilot lines to further support SME innovation and prototyping activities on a path to mass production
The photonixFAB consortium is made up of major public and private enterprises, plus highly respected research institutes – all focusing on the development and production of next-generation silicon photonics. These high-profile partners include technology and manufacturing service providers X-FAB, LIGENTEC, SMART Photonics, PHIX Photonics Assembly and Luceda Photonics plus application developers Nokia, NVIDIA, Aryballe, Brolis Sensor Technology and PhotonFirst, as well as the major research organizations CEA-Leti and IMEC.
The photonixFAB consortium steering committee has defined an External Expert Advisory Board (EEAB) to support the project with an external view on the project progress and outcomes. As expert and influent individuals in the Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) industry, the EEAB members will advise the consortium on the proper implementation of project’s results, provide insight on market requirements and trends. Finally, the EEAB members will support the establishing the silicon photonics supply chain and advise on the ecosystem development direction.
We are happy to count among us eminent actors of the PICs industry, from associations & market experts, industrial executives, and promising PIC start-ups CEOs :
Chief Technology Officer & Head of Product Strategy – Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
Dr. Stammler studied physics at the University of Stuttgart with a doctoral thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart. In 1995 he was rewarded with the Otto-Hahn-Medaille award of the Max-Planck-Society.
After one year as visiting scientist at IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA, he joined Lawrence Berkeley National Lab 1997 as a post doc.
In 1998 he joined Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen and since then held various leading positions in R&D, product- and technology-management within the semiconductor business segment – now as CTO and head of product strategy at Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH.
Head of Advanced Optical Technologies at Volkswagen AG
Heiko Kurz received his Phd in Physics in 2014 from Leibniz University of Hannover. He joined Volkswagen Group Research in Wolfsburg in 2017 and is currently heading the Self Driving System Center of Excellence AD at Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge / ADMT. His research interests are focused on novel automotive radar & sensor techniques, automated driving as well Advanced Optical Technologies.
Founder, Director, and Chief Executive Officer, X-Celeprint Limited Director, X-Celeprint Inc.
Kyle Benkendorfer was educated at the London Business School, Texas A&M University and Reed College, and brings more than 35 years of experience to his role at X-Celeprint. He previously served for five years as Sr. Director of Business Development at Semprius, Inc. responsible for licensing micro-transfer print technology, and has served as a Director and CEO of X-Celeprint since its inception. Prior to his employment with Semprius, Mr. Benkendorfer directed the global support and commercial development of OLED polymers for The Dow Chemical Company. He also has previous experience at Dow developing spin-on dielectrics, high-tensile-strength polymer fibers, and ultra-high purity encapsulants for high performance semiconductors.
CEO, SCINTIL Photonics (France & Canada)
Sylvie Menezo is CEO of SCINTIL Photonics, which she founded in November 2018 after being Laureate of the ILAB French contest from BPIfrance. SCINTIL has developed and exploits a circuit technology born at CEA-Leti for monolithically integrating lasers on advanced silicon photonics, in the domains of optical communications and sensing applications. Before founding SCINTIL, Menezo managed the Silicon Photonics Lab (2012-2014) and the Business Development activities in integrated photonics (2014-2017) at CEA-Leti (Grenoble). She previously worked at NZAT (Boston, USA), Alcatel (Marcoussis, France), and at Sercel-Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (Nantes France and Houston USA), managing product development teams or product lines.
Since 2021, Menezo is at the board of ePIXfab, a European not-for-profit open alliance of academic and industrial organizations with a mission to promote silicon photonics science, technology and applications.
She is involved in technical committees of OFC, ECOC.
Sylvie Menezo holds an Engineering degree from INSA Lyon (1997), a Ph.D from Centre National d’Etude des Télécommunications (1999, Bagneux) and a Part Time Executive MBA from Audencia Nantes (2007).
Technical Director at AENEAS
After starting his career in the French Ministry of Industry, Dr. Patrick Cogez joined STMicroelectronics in 1988, where he designed and implemented the Information Systems of the Crolles R&D and Manufacturing site, and was later appointed Director for Innovation and External Research for the Technology R&D of the Embedded Solutions Sector of STMicroelectronics. He is currently Technical Director of AENEAS, a not-for-profit Industrial Association representing its members in the ECS value chain and aiming at fostering Research and Innovation and creating an effective funding landscape. He is the current Chair of the ECS Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, and involved in several European collaborative projects on international cooperation ans skills development for the microelectronics industry.
Patrick graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées in France, and holds a M.Sc. degree in Operations Research and a PhD in Industrial Engineering, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed an Executive MBA programme at NEOMA Business School, Paris. He co-managed three PhD theses and co-authored several articles on the management of breakthrough innovation.
Head of operation of photonics21
Markus, a seasoned expert in European research and innovation funding policy and strategy, has been with VDI TZ since 2002. His proficiency lies in initiating and coordinating innovation-focused deep-tech initiatives at the intersection of research, industry, and politics. Markus coordinated the establishment of the photonics stakeholder organisation Photonics21, which has grown to more than 4000 members from industry and academia. Photonics21 works with the European Commission in the Photonics Public Private Partnerships of the EU Framework Programmes, channeling over 1 billion euros into photonics industry oriented research and innovation projects. He was involved in the European Commission’s Key Enabling Technology Initiative, leveraging his in-depth knowledge of European institutions and associated organizations. Prior to his current role, Markus served as a technology consultant for Bayerische Landesbank.
Founder and CEO of Indigo Diabetes
Dr. Danaë Delbeke is the inventor, founder and CEO of Indigo. She drives Indigo’s strategic vision, culture and passion to transform science into products that will improve the life of millions of people. She has a successful track-record in business management and entrepreneurship having successfully founded or co-founded 7 high-tech photonics companies over the past 12 years. She received her Ph.D. degree in Applied Sciences from Ghent University in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics as well as a Bachelor and Masters of Applied Sciences/Engineering in Photonics.
is co-funded by the European Union under grant agreement no. 101111896. The project is supported by the Chips Joint Undertaking and its members, including top-up funding by Belgium, Germany, France, Israel, Italy and the Netherlands. The project is also supported by Switzerland separately.