This PIXAPP commercial prototype package involved the assembly of a silicon photonics integrated circuit (PIC) onto an electronic printed circuit board that has an integrated thermo-electric cooler (TEC) mounted below it. For ease of assembly, the optical fiber array was connected using a grating coupler with alignment loops. A modified version of this design is available which allows for edge coupled photonic chip assembly.
PHIX started its operations in July 2018 to serve the growing demand for photonic assembly activities. PHIX’s goal of becoming the world leader in this field has come one step closer with large new investments from Innovation Industries and existing investor Oost NL (through Innovatiefonds Twente). These investments catalyze PHIX’s growth and its ambitions to scale up its manufacturing volumes.
An investment in European photonics assembly
The photonics market is estimated to grow exponentially during the next 5 years. Photonic technologies find their way into many sectors, including health care, automotive, sensing, consumer electronics and many more. Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are a key enabling technology and facilitate further miniaturization, faster connections and cost reduction.
Integrated photonics can play an important role in developing fast, light and low cost-devices for the detection of viruses. This was the conclusion of the webinar on Biosensors for Virus Detection, organized by the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) on March 26th. The webinar can still be viewed after registration. Collaboration and standardization of PIC manufacturing and packaging are the key to speed up the development of these technologies and keep their costs down.
Kickoff EU H2020 project POETICS, PHIX Photonics Assembly to package next generation transceiver modules
CoPackaging of Terabit direct-detection and coherent Optical Engines and switching circuits in mulTI–Chip moduleS for Datacenter networks and the 5G optical fronthaul
Announcement of Project Launch
POETICS was officially kicked off on January 14-15, 2020 at the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS) in Athens, Greece. All eight (8) members of the consortium were gathered for a two-day productive meeting and worked together to review the project work plan and the lines of action, define immediate actions and goals, and conduct detailed planning.
POETICS is a H2020 Research and Innovation project funded by the European Union aiming to bring the optical interconnect technology with all performance, functionality and cost credentials and allow the Datacenter (DC) networks to scale and the 5G wired infrastructures to grow.
Enabling terabit-capacity optical interconnects requires a paradigm shift in the packaging approach. The electrical interconnect distance between the optical engine (OE) and the digital switching chip must be minimized, signal conditioning chips and unwanted components, like sockets that would otherwise be required and would inevitably lead to increased power consumption and reduced signal integrity, should be removed. It also requires the right combination of photonic and electronic technology to be integrated in order to deliver high performance, low-cost and energy efficient optical engines.
POETICS will develop novel Terabit optical engines and optical switching circuits and co-package them with digital switching chips to realize Multi-Chip Modules (MCM) for next generation switching equipment with >12.8 Tb/s capacities and very high energy efficiency that fit into the roadmap of vendors. In order to achieve these goals POETICS will utilize SiGe BiCMOS, InP, PolyBoard and TriPleX technologies and rely on hybrid integration, which allows the selection and combination of the best performing components.
The specific targets in POETICS are to develop:
- MCM with 1.6 Tb/s OEs based on 8-fold InP-EML arrays (200 Gb/s per lane) and PolyBoard with parallel SMFs on par with the PSM/DR spec for 500 m – 2 km intra-DC connectivity;
- MCM with 1.6 Tb/s OEs based on 8-fold InP-EML arrays (200 Gb/s per lane) and 3D PolyBoard with duplex MCFs for 5G optical fronthaul applications;
- Low-power-consumption 3D Benes optical switch;
- MCM coherent 64 Gbaud OEs with up to 600 Gb/s capacity of DC interconnect applications within 80 – 120 km reach on par with 400G-ZR specification.
All news, publications, and other outputs of the project will be available on the official project website at ict-poetics.eu.
Call H2020-ICT-2019-2: ICT-05-2019 – Application driven Photonics components
GA ID. 871769
Project start: 1 January 2020
Project duration: 36 Months
total funding: € 5.814.568,75
8 Partners, 6 Countries
Looking forward – a few words from CEO Albert Hasper
Prototype Package including Spot Size Converter (SSC ) Fiber Arrays with mode field 4.2 x 3.2 µm @ 1550nm, assembled to InP chip
It has only been a little more than one year when PHIX started its operations at the High-Tech Factory on the premises of the University of Twente. In just over one year we were able to put PHIX in the middle of the photonic world. In the year 2019 we developed our organization towards a company for the engineering, assembly and packaging of PICs. We were able to attract a lot of customers who we helped to package their chips. We have been present at many exhibitions and conferences to explain what PHIX is and what our ambitions are. At these events we talked to many customers and future customers.
Our activities have also been recognized by the photonics community. In March we received the prestigious PIC Award for “Best New PIC-Enabled Product or Achievement in Optical-Fibered Modules”. We started a cooperation with ficonTEC in the area of chip-to-chip and fiber array-to-chip production. We continued the development with Aixemtec and Fraunhofer IPT on the automatic Fiber Array production. And TEEM Photonics and PHIX Photonics Assembly joined forces to scale up Spot Size Converter assembly manufacturing.
All in all, a year with many developments in the exciting photonic world.
So, dear customers, relations and colleagues, thank you all for your business and commitments towards PHIX. I sincerely hope that our relation and interactions will enhance in 2020 and the many years to come. We want you to be successful in the photonic business and want you to help in the packaging and assembly needs of your products.
Kickoff EU H2020 project TERAWAY, PHIX Photonics Assembly to performing packaging of Thz photonic modules
Project Launch – Kick-off meeting
The implementation of TERAWAY project was officially inaugurated with the kick-off meeting that took place on 3rd and 4th of December 2019. All the twelve (12) members of the consortium were gathered for a two-day productive meeting at the premises of Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin in order to analyze TERAWAY’s workplan in depth, specify in detail the role of each partner in the project’s deployment and define the next actions.
TERAWAY is a H2020 5GPPP Phase III project funded by the European Union coming as a technology intensive project aiming to develop a disruptive generation of THz transceivers for high-capacity BH and FH links in 5G networks.
Leveraging optical concepts and photonic integration techniques, TERAWAY will develop a common technology base for the generation, emission and detection of wireless signals with selectable symbol rate and bandwidth up to 25.92 GHz within an ultra-wide range of carrier frequencies covering the W-band (92-114.5 GHz), D-band (130-174.8 GHz) and THz band (252-322 GHz).
In this way, TERAWAY steps into providing for the first time the possibility to organize the spectral resources of a network within these bands into a common pool of radio resources that can be flexibly coordinated and used.
The use of photonics will enable the development of multi-channel transceivers with amplification of the wireless signals in the optical domain and with multi-beam optical beamforming in order to have a radical increase in the directivity of each wireless beam. In parallel, aiming to take the most out of the THz technology and enable its commercial uptake, the project will develop a new software defined networking (SDN) controller and an extended control hierarchy that will perform the management of the network and the radio resources in a homogeneous way with obvious benefits for the network performance and energy efficiency and with possibilities for the provision of network slices in order to support heterogeneous services.
At the end of this development, TERAWAY will make available a set of ground breaking transceiver modules including 4-channel modules operating from 92 up to 322 GHz, with possibility to offer 241 Gb/s total data rate, to have more than 400 m transmission reach in the THz band (and few Km in the lower bands), and with 4 wireless beams that can be independently steered and establish BH and FH connections between fixed terrestrial and moving network nodes. The TERAWAY transceivers will be evaluated at the 5G demo site of AALTO and NOKIA in Finland, under an application scenario of communication and surveillance coverage of outdoor mega-events using moving nodes in the form of heavy-duty drones.
TERAWAY project comprises twelve (12) partners from six (6) European countries among which:
three vendors: Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo (ES), Intracom S.A. Telecom Solutions (GR) and SIAE Microelettronica S.p.A. (IT);
two industry-oriented research institutes: Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute (FhG-HHI) and Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (DE), Leibniz-Institut fuer Hoechstfrequenztechnik (DE);
four SMEs: LioniX International BV (NL), Optagon Photonics (GR), PHIX Photonics Assembly (NL), Cumucore OY (FIN) and
three academic organizations: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (ES), Aalto University (FIN) and the Institute of Communications & Computer Systems of the National technical University of Athens (GR) that coordinates the action.