Application Notes
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Design Agnostic PIC Validation

Application Specific Photonic Integrated Circuits (ASPICs) state an appealing solution for emerging fields in photonic integration, such as quantum technology. For quality assurance, every fabricated wafer needs to be validated. To avoid time-consuming and expensive characterization of individual designs, dedicated test structures are present on fixed positions on each wafer, allowing user design agnostic platform validation. 

Testing the lifetime of photonic components

Reliability of the photonic components in a PIC plays a key role in product quality and needs to be determined before embedding the PIC into the final product. Various partners in the JePPIX pilot line offer burn-in, life-test, and reliability tests to evaluate the lifetime of photonic components.

PIC-enabled LIDAR

LIDAR, short for light detection and ranging or “light radar”, is used to measure distances with high resolution and precision. The opportunities for using LIDARare plenty, most notably in automotive, where it is used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and in autonomous driving, providing a better resolution than radar. PICs offer some very concrete opportunities for LIDAR.

PICs for Gas Sensing

Gas sensors and analyzers find applications in many fields, including (bio)chemical industry, automotive, agriculture, and general environmental sensing in urban areas. Photonic integration can combine all elements of a gas sensor on a single photonic integrated circuit (PIC).

PICs for Quantum Key Distribution

Every day, we generate, send, and receive large amounts of digital information and, for the most part, hope that sensitive information is secure on these networks. Trustworthy data transit, storage and internet usage thus requires unbreakable security protocols beyond classical encryption.

Laser sources for silicon photonics

Silicon photonics promises highly integrated photonic integrated circuits (PICs), fabricated using a mature, CMOS-compatible, infrastructure. This leads, in principle, to robust, high-yield, and reproducible production of PICs. However, most silicon photonics technologies lack integrated sources, and rely on external lasers as a light source. This application note shares the opportunities for open access and generic technologies to deliver these external lasers.

Fiber-Optic Sensing

Fibre-optic sensors, and in particular Fibre-Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors, find application in a plethora of areas. Especially mobility, medical, energy, and industrial sectors demand such flexible, highly reliable sensors, suitable for employment in specialty environments, dealing with, e.g., temperature extremes, chemical exposure or fire hazardous environments.

InP PICs for Coherent Communication

Coherent optical communication supports higher data rates through fiber optic cables by not only encoding information in the amplitude of the optical signal but also in its phase and polarization. Driven by the exponential growth in demanded network capacity, on the one hand, and technological advancement in laser and integrated photonics technology and maturity on the other, coherent communication is gaining traction.

Widely-Tunable Integrated InP Lasers

Widely-tunable lasers can find application in a large variety of tasks including sensing, communication technologies and beam steering. Integrated indium phosphide (InP) technology can cater to these applications with widely-tunable laser sources and additional functions integrated on a single chip.

PIC Evaluation with PIConnect

Fraunhofer HHI has developed PIConnect: a new PIC evaluation setup with integrated laser drivers, current and voltage sources. This evaluation setup simplifies the handling and characterization of PICs and lowers financial investment at an exploration stage.

Photonic Packaging of InP PICs

Photonics packaging covers the optical, electronic, and thermal coupling of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) to the outside world resorting to a suitable mechanical solution. The procedures associated with packaging of photonic devices are often underestimated and remain technically challenging.

THz Generation 

Terahertz (THz) technologies are attracting a great deal of interest, given the wide range of the THz radiation’s applicability. Security screening and imaging at airports is just one of the better-known examples, taking advantage of the nondestructive testing capabilities of THz radiation.

Automated Photonics Testing

A crucial factor in bringing PIC-based systems and applications to the market is time-efficient PIC characterization and validation at low cost per part. Automated testing is essential to achieving this.

5G Communication Networks

In an interconnected world, wireless communication faces an ever-increasing demand for higher transmission speeds, lower latency and reliable high-throughput to more and more end-users.

Photonic Integration for AI hardware

With higher data transmission rates and larger data storage volumes on the horizon, new solutions for high-speed information processing, which at the same time, meet the demand for reduced energy usage and decreasing latency, are required.

InP Lasers for Hybrid PICs

Hybrid photonic integration, particularly integration of III-V semiconductor opto-electronic components, can be realized with various approaches. These include butt-coupled individual chips, flip-chip integration, bonding approaches, or hetero-epitaxial growth.

Open Access PIC Fabrication

Photonic integration has evolved from integrating single optical devices and functionalities to large scale integration of 10s to 100s of functions, forming photonic integrated circuits (PICs), much alike integrated circuits (ICs) in microelectronics.