Europe to lead photonics with open-access PIC packaging pilot line

March 29, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Europe to lead photonics with open-access PIC packaging pilot line
The value of the photonics market is expected to be worth over €615 billion by 2020, a market in which Europe is leading, holding 55% of the production technology market today.

In partnership with Europe’s premier photonics industry body, Photonics21, the European Union has identified photonics as a Key Enabling Technology (KET) critical for the future economic development of Europe.

To provide European companies with a state-of-the-art infrastructure, supporting the industrial development and manufacture of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), the EU is investing €15.5 million in a new international consortium called PIXAPP, to be led by Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute.

Packaging PICs can represent up to 80% of the cost of photonics components so it is a critical area for the industry.

PIXAPP is the world’s first open access PIC assembly and packaging pilot line, combining a highly-interdisciplinary team of Europe’s leading industrial and research organisations. Partners in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Italy and Czech Republic each bring their own particular expertise to provide SMEs with a unique infrastructure to help them exploit the breakthrough advantages of PIC technologies.

"We will establish ‘best in class’ PIC packaging technologies that are cost-effective and scalable to high volume manufacture. We will offer these technologies through a single easy access point, which we call the Pilot Line Gateway, which is located at Tyndall. Furthermore we plan to train and educate the photonics workforce of the future by creating a unique laboratory based training program. This program is a game-changer not only for the European photonics industry but also for global photonics", said PIXAPP Pilot Line Director and Head of Photonics Packaging Research at Tyndall National Institute, Prof. Peter O’Brien


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