‘Spectacular’ roadmap to drive integrated photonics

‘Spectacular’ roadmap to drive integrated photonics

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Cette publication existe aussi en Français

PhotonDelta in the Netherlands and the MIT Microphotonics Centre have developed an international  roadmap for integrated photonics.

The initiative involves contributions from more than 400 organisations including Airbus, Meta, NASA, Dupont Electronics, General Motors, The European Space Agency and VodafoneZiggo and the potential impact has been described by Peter van Arkel, CTO of PhotonDelta as “spectacular”.

The Integrated Photonics System Roadmap – International (IPSR-I) has been developed over the last three years and identifies key technology gaps where integrated photonics could revolutionise industries including RF photonics (wireless communication), 3D imaging, datacoms and sensing. This is a major push for European semiconductor companies.

The integration of photonics with electronics is the key enabler for the creation of smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices. The integration has the potential to expand functionality and create a large number of new applications and is helping to unlock major advancements in many areas including autonomous vehicles, data telecom and healthcare. Integrated photonics is also the technology that generates, processes, and detects light for sensing and communication applications.

IPSR-I describes the consensus from more than 400 experts from over 100 workshops and 13 conferences. It includes a comprehensive overview of major technology gaps for volume manufacturing of PICs and a detailed analysis of the challenges that the integrated photonics industry needs to overcome to achieve its potential.

“Getting all research and development resources of the integrated photonics industry and academia behind solving the technological gaps identified by the IPSR-I, will contribute to solving the large societal challenges in a spectacular manner,” said Peter van Arkel, CTO of PhotonDelta. “At the heart of the roadmap is a global approach for the integrated photonics industry to rally behind to meet core challenges. Reaching a consensus on these technological gaps has been very challenging with such a diverse group of contributors. Looking at the results, it has definitely been worth it.”

Lionel Kimerling, Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, said: “Electronic-photonic integration has the capacity to radically transform a whole host of industries and unlock a range of new technologies that will change our lives. Transitioning this vision to high volume manufacturing requires a well thought out plan built on the knowledge of a huge range of experts across different fields, organisations and nations. This is what IPSR-I has chieved – it outlines a clear way forward and specifies an innovative learning curve for scaling performance and applications for the next 15 years.”

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) can process and transmit data much more effectively than their electronic counterparts. Just like with traditional chips, the production process is carried out using automatic wafer-scale technology. This allows the chips to be mass-produced, reducing costs.

The full roadmap can be downloaded here: 

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