Value Chain

Providing a path to scalable high-volume manufacturing

We want 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.

Photonic design/EDA

Within photonixFAB, Luceda plays a key role in creating mature process design kits for silicon (SOI) and silicon nitride (SiN) photonic IC technologies, enabling the design for heterogenous integration of InP chiplets and electro-optical materials, reducing the cost of packaging by introducing assembly design kits that incorporate packaging rules and electro-optical interfaces, and increasing first-time-right design by further automating photonic IC design implementation with a schematic-assisted design flow, placement and routing automation and simulation. 

PIC foundry & testing

In the project, LIGENTEC Switzerland is responsible for designing all relevant components, to quantify process changes, performance metrics and application-specific chip-level testing for both the SiN-based technology and the SiN technology interfacing with the heterogeneously integrated components. Moreover, it leads the customer support and project management for the SiN demonstrators; the exploitation plan for the SiN-based products; and the training associated with the SiN technology modules. LIGENTEC France coordinates the development and installation of all relevant SiN process modules at the industrial line of X-FAB and is responsible for data gathering through extensive wafer-level characterization of the new modules and components. 

At X-FAB, an installation of imec’s SOI platform into the X-FAB France 200 mm high-volume fab​ is planned. X-FAB will also enable early technology access and offer prototyping runs. In addition, the SOI platform will be readied for heterogenous integration (micro-transfer printing) of high-performance materials like InP and LNO. 

Heterogeneous Integration

Micro-Transfer-Printing (µTP) is an approach for the heterogeneous integration of microscale electronic devices on non-native substrates by means of stamp pick-up and printing procedures. Therefore, so called chiplets are released from a source wafer and attached to target wafer. Since large amounts of chiplets can be transferred simultaneously, µTP is a highly efficient process. With its superior alignment accuracy, µTP offers solutions for System-in-Package integration of CMOS, MEMS, wide-bandgap and photonic devices. 
Beside printing and related processes, X-FAB offers source wafer fabrication for CMOS wafers originating from 180 nm BCD-on-SOI platform technology. 

Active material III-V chiplets

SMART will develop a Micro-Transfer Printing (μTP) technology in conjunction with consortium partners. This will provide a scalable route to the high-volume integration of InP components including both active (SOAs, modulators and detectors) and passive (low-loss waveguides, splitters, AWGs) elements into Silicon Photonics (SiPh) platforms (SOI and SiN), enabling the realisation of complex SiPh PICs. SMART will develop a specially adapted heterogeneous PDK, which will include µTP-specific features for each BB that facilitates the InP integration process. Customers will be able to access such InP chip designs through the PDK of SiPh partners, enabling customers to design, manufacture and test novel SiPh PICs that include active and passive InP components.

Packaging & testing

Within photonixFAB, PHIX is leading the development of scalable and cost-effective industrial packaging of hybrid photonic integrated modules and subsystems based on silicon-on-insulator and silicon nitride platform, including methods for photonic-electronic co-assembly. Furthermore, PHIX is contributing to the development of an Assembly Design Kit (ADK) and of the photonixFAB ecosystem as a whole. 

Systems & applications

Aryballe will build an olfaction sensor demonstrator using the SiN technology. 
NOKIA is responsible for the specification, assembly and performance evaluation of the silicon photonics demonstrators for telecom coherent transceiver applications.
NVIDIA will use the photonixFAB platform to generate layouts for transceivers and optical switches and will evaluate the demonstrators on its testbed. 
PhotonFirst will take care of the packaging, verification and validation of the integrated photonic assembly for the fiber sensing demonstrator. 

R&D Support

photonixFAB is proud to have two of Europe's leading research organizations being part of the project: CEA-Leti and IMEC.

CEA-Leti will contribute to the setting up of an industrial pilot line for wafer level manufacturing and testing of SiN-based PICs with its expertise and experience.

Four imec groups are contributing to the photonixFAB project with a Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology-based photonics platform, micro transfer printing (µTP) for heterogeneous integration, device design, and prototyping services.