An Integrated Photonics Educational System

April 11th 2024 

Our customer Light Trace Photonics is using a PHIX package as part of a programmable system for educating the photonics engineers of the future. 

Plug-and-play exploration of photonic chip technology

integrated photonics teaching platform

Light Trace Photonics is a Bristol (UK) based company pioneering integrated photonics education and innovation. Their first product, the LightPort:Edu, is a self-contained, integrated photonics module that allows students to get hands-on experience utilizing and programming photonic chips. The LightPort:Edu’s core chip provides the student with access to a diverse range of programmable photonic components, such as phase shifters, tunable delay lines, and tunable bandpass filters, which can be interfaced with optical fiber patch cords and programmed via their user-friendly graphic user interface. Their system is designed to teach students core concepts ranging from basic waveguide mode theory, photodetection and thermo-optics right through to on-chip interferometry, integrated quantum photonics and photonic sensing. Crucially, the LightPort:Edu teaches students these concepts through the lens of integrated photonics – the platform of the future.

A PHIX package at its heart

An integral part of the LightPort:Edu product is the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) enabled module inside. For the first iteration of the LightPort:Edu, Light Trace Photonics opted for the PHIX Characterization Package. Due to its open architecture and construction from off-the-shelf building blocks, this prototyping package type is perfect for performing the first product validations at minimal costs and lead times. Following the successful launch of the LightPort:Edu, the company has since made an upgrade to the Large Area Goldbox package. This housing is well-suited for volume production of the device and the semi-hermetic sealing applied by PHIX provides more robustness and a longer lifespan. Its glass lid enables the students to physically see the chip in action as they program it.

LightPort Edu platform
portrait Jake Biele

“The LightPort:Edu, powered by Light Trace Photonics’ core photonic chip and PHIX’s state-of-the-art chip packaging, is revolutionizing student learning by offering immersive hands-on experiences in utilizing and programming photonic chips.”

Jake Biele

Light Trace Photonics CEO

How PHIX makes your projects succeed

PHIX can package your photonic integrated circuits (PICs) into modules ready to be built into optoelectronic devices. When designing your PICs please involve PHIX’s expertise early on, so that your chip layout will favor high-performance, cost-effective, and scalable manufacturing with short lead times. Our Design Guidelines for PIC Packaging document is a great place to start your PIC design journey. Our selection of standard package types gives a nice overview of some of the housings that you can use for your module. Some housings are specifically designed for protoype packaging, while others also support volume packaging.