Smart Photonics has doubled its production capacity by moving from 3-inch to 4-inch wafers, resulting in a lower price per chip. “The larger wafer substrate will enable us to better meet the number of optical chips needed in the market, and at a competitive price level that will help to fulfill our ambition of becoming a world-leading player in integrated photonics,” comments Guy Backner, COO of the Dutch integrated-photonics foundry.
The worldwide demand for photonic integrated circuits is expected to grow by double digits for years to come. The main drivers for this growth are 5G/6G telecom applications and data center upgrades to 800 Gb/s and beyond, to get ready for AI. New developments such as lidar in the automotive industry and quantum key distribution as an enabler for advanced internet security will also play a key role in driving up the volumes.