Paul van Gerven
16 December 2020

The Chip Integration Technology Center (CITC), Phix, Physik Instrumente and Tegema have put together a consortium for integrated photonics assembly called Podium. Funded by Photondelta and CITC, the PIC Open Development Infrastructure for Universal Markets offers assistance in optimizing the assembly and packaging of integrated photonics modules. Afterwards, customers can take their product into volume production, either at photonics assembly foundry Phix or in-house using Tegema’s platform.

Tegema Indigo
Tegema’s Indigo platform for (semi)automated photonics assembly. Credit: Tegema

The adoption of integrated photonics technology is hampered by high assembly costs: up to 80 percent of the total device costs is in electrical and optical packaging. Especially optical packaging requires a time-consuming active alignment of all optical components. This means that the device has to be switched on while the performance is optimized during alignment.

As an innovation center dedicated to heterogeneous integration and advanced packaging, CITC wants to remove this barrier. To this end, it already teamed up with system integrator Tegema, which in turn relies on positioning technology from Physik Instrumente. Together, these partners aim to develop the production processes and equipment to efficiently assemble photonic systems, which Phix can put into practice.

“The development of production equipment that’s tuned to the needs of integrated-photonics manufacturers is essential to enhance the growth of the Dutch photonics industry. It will enable players to efficiently and reliably produce the devices and systems that the market is asking for,” comments Ewit Roos, CEO of Photondelta.