JePPIX partners are currently actively involved in several projects as detailed below.
PICs4All (Photonic Integrated Circuits Accessible to Everyone) is a Coordination and Support Action from the EU Horizon 2020 ICT programme. The purpose is to bring users closer to Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) technology, enabling access to highly advanced fabrication facilities for PICs.
PICs4All has set up a European Network of experts in photonics consisting of 9 Application Support Centres (ASC) distributed around Europe whose main task is to stimulate the development of novel applications based on Photonic ICs for a broader range of application fields, to enhance cooperation between universities, clusters, industry, and research centres, and most importantly, to enable access to the PIC technology.
WIPE - Waferscale Integration of Photonics and Electronics
Photonic Integrated Circuits do not work in isolation; they have optical Input/Output (I/O) channels and electric I/O. The various active optical components in the PIC (the modulators, detectors, lasers, etc.) require sophisticated analog and digital electronic circuits and precision control. For example 100G and 400G telecom transmitters and receivers require state of the art drivers and electronics for digital signal processing.
At the moment, the PICs and ICs are mounted in one housing and connected by traditional wire bonds (a System in a Package). However, this impairs the performance for both technologies both technically and economically. Bringing the photonics and micro-electronics chips together (the so-called hybrid integration) and co-design allow for further miniaturization and subsequently energy and cost savings.
PHASTFlex is working on the development of a fully automated, high precision, cost-effective assembly technology for next generation hybrid photonic packages. Current assembly and packaging technology for PICs lead to custom-engineered solutions; packaging is at least an order of magnitude more expensive than the photonic chips which are becoming more readily available through generic platform technology. This is a major bottle-neck to rapid market penetration.
PHASTFlex is developing an innovative solution in which InP PICs with active optical functions will be combined with passive dielectric waveguide TriPleX PICs bonded onto an low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) carrier. In the PHASTFlex concept the waveguides in the TriPleX PIC are released during fabrication to make them movable. Actuators and fixing functions, integrated in the same TriPleX PIC, place and fix the flexible waveguides in the optimal position to achieve peak out-coupled power from the InP PIC. A second feature of the TriPleX chip is mode expansion to match fibre mode size at the optical I/O.