PHIX builds series of PIXAPP designed PIC modules

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.

PIXAPP module TEC grating

Photonic assembly with integrated TEC


PHIX Photonics Assembly secures funding from Innovation Industries and Oost NL

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.

Detecting viruses using integrated photonic devices

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 mulTIChip 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

For more info, visit the POETICS website


News december 2019

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

Dear All,

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.


Albert Hasper

Spotsize converting fiber array

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.

PHIX Photonics Assembly and TEEM Photonics join forces to scale up Spot Size Converter assembly manufacturing

TEEM Photonics glass Waveguide Array to Fiber Transposer (WAFT) allows users to make an efficient coupling from small mode field diameter Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) to Single Mode fibers using its proprietary glass ion exchange technology. Combined with the strength of the assembly of PIC’s and fiber array manufacturing capabilities from PHIX Photonics Assembly both companies decided to join forces and offer pre-assembled glass WAFT to Fiber array solutions to support their customers in the early phases of their development and pave the road for volume manufacturing.

TEEM has an outstanding 20 years track record when it comes to manufacturing components based on their glass ion exchange process (ioNext). Early products were introduced in the market as early as the late 90’s and were used for the Fiber To The Home (FTTH) rollout. Glass splitters provided a very low loss with this technology. Fiber attachment to these devices was straightforward since the mode was matching very nice with the single mode fibers used in the telecommunication industry.

 Integrated chip platforms have become available which provide complex active functionality based on silicon, Indium Phosphide or Lithium Niobate materials. The challenge of these chip technologies is that in order to make the more complex photonic circuits, small mode field diameters and high index contrast waveguides are used. While this brings the benefit of allowing  more components to be designed per unit area, interfacing such tightly confined waveguides with fibers  presents a challenge since no scalable assembly solution is available. Most Indium Phosphide Chips use tapered fibers in combination with High Numerical Aperture (NA) fibers in order to achieve acceptable coupling losses. In Silicon Photonics, similar challenges arise and inverted taper approaches are being developed to improve mode matching and allow passive integration schemes.

TEEM and PHIX collaboration allows the photonic ecosystem to easily benefit from WAFT’s insertion loss reduction technology. It also provides a turnkey solution for the assembly of photonic chips in a volume manufacturing perspective says Arnaud Rigny (Head of Business Line at Teem Photonics).

Another challenge is the tight alignment tolerance of the fibers with respect to the waveguide within the chips. The small mode dimensions add to the constraints on positioning accuracy are high if losses are to remain under control. Furthermore, keeping low losses in an array configuration is nearly impossible due to the intrinsic fiber tolerances on diameter and core concentricity.

 The WAFT – fiber array assemblies elegantly solve this problem. By using off-the-shelf fiber array configurations and by pre-assembling those to the WAFT products, a good and efficient coupling is guaranteed on the assembly. The set can then be assembled to the integrated photonics chips by using butt or a grating coupling configuration. This makes sure that the lithographic defined interface is perfectly matched to the PIC.

 Beyond this standard offering of standalone 1, 4,  8 and 16 channel Spot Size Converting fiber arrays (SSC-FA), PHIX offers to attach these SSC-FA’s as part of their Characterization Package Standard (CPS) prototyping platform. This is taking away the hurdle for MPW customers to design a specific package for their design. On the other hand, TEEM provides customization of the WAFTs  allowing for pitch conversion as well as the addition of other passive optical functions.

The collaboration of PHIX and TEEM enables customers to get their prototype designs off the lab alignment stage and provides an off-the-shelf solution for multiple chip platforms says Jeroen Duis (Chief Commercial Officer at PHIX)

The new products are launched as of ECOC 2019 in Dublin. Visit the PHIX booth #507 for more information

About TEEM Photonics

Founded at the end of 1998, the company entered the telecom market and was the first to commercially introduce Erbium Doped Waveguide Amplifiers, complementing it by a range of wide band high performance splitter for FTTH applications deployed in the US, Japan and Europe. Its specific ion-exchange process enables high confinement and variable confinement optical waveguides. These can be tailored into standard and advanced integrated optics products such as the innovative WAFT series solutions for Silicon Photonics Interfacing. The ioNext technology also allow functions such as splitters, couplers, Taps, Mux/Demux, polarizers and custom devices.

For further information, please visit us at www.teemphotonics.com

Contact person: Arnaud Rigny a.rigny@teemphotonics.com

About PHIX Photonics Assembly

Founded in 2017, PHIX is a European based provider of automated photonics assembly services with its main facilities in Enschede The Netherlands. We aim to become world leader in packaging and assembly of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) by supplying PIC based components and modules in scalable production volumes. We offer fiber arrays and assembly services for the three major PIC technology platforms (InP, Si, LiN and SiN) and are specialized in hybrid integration of chip-to-chip and fiber-to-chip modules. PHIX provides a one-stop-shop from design to volume production of PIC modules.

For further information, please visit us at www.phix.com

Contact person: Jeroen Duis j.duis@phix.com

PIC Award Winner 2019

This afternoon, 26-03-2019 CEO Albert Hasper and COO Joost van Kerkhof received one of the prestegious PIC awards at the PIC International Conference through EPIC CTO Jose Pozo.




Powering Photonic Production by Fraunhofer Project Center and PHIX as launching customer

A very clever industry incubator is taking shape on the campus of the University of Twente. It’s the latest move by Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. With 72 institutes and research units across Germany and a research budget of €2.3 billion, this network is already making significant impact on many European societal needs. That includes health, security, communications, energy and the environment.


Dr Biba Visnjicki is Director of Business Development at the Fraunhofer Project Center in Enschede. She explained to Jonathan Marks the impact their plans will have on the European Photonics Industry.


“People sometimes forget that profits are made by manufacturing products, not in the research and development.” “Fraunhofer chose to partner with the University of Twente not only because it’s at the heart of one of the world’s leading clusters in optics and nanotechnology. But also because of its international reputation for production and manufacturing competencies.”

Read here the full article of Photon Delta