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CEA-Leti to Coordinate EC Silicon Photonics Project

GRENOBLE, France, Feb. 21, 2013 — CEA-Leti will coordinate a four-year project aimed at building a European-based supply chain in silicon photonics and speeding up industrialization of the technology.

The €10.2 million PLAT4M (Photonic Libraries and Technology for Manufacturing) European Commission project includes 15 European R&D institutes and CMOS companies, industrial and research organizations in design and packaging, and end users in different application fields to bring the existing silicon photonics research platform to a level that enables seamless transition to industry.

“Silicon with its mature integration platform has brought electronic circuits to mass market applications — our vision is that silicon photonics will follow this evolution,” said project coordinator Laurent Fulbert. “Upgrading existing platforms to become compatible with industrialization is now essential. The PLAT4M partners bring a critical combination of expertise to the challenge of building a complete supply chain for commercializing silicon photonics in Europe.”

Silicon photonics research has grown rapidly, but most of the R&D has been devoted to developing elementary building blocks, rather than fabricating the complete photonic integrated circuits needed to support large potential markets — such as telecom and datacom, gas sensing, lidar and vibrometry.

PLAT4M aims to: 

  • Prepare the supply chain, from chip-level technology to packaged circuits 
  • Make integration technologies accessible to users in a fabless model 
  • Help develop a design environment for convergence of photonics and electronics 
  • Concentrate efforts on new products and new users, rather than the technology level 
  • Retain its optoelectronics integration in Europe, with little added value in offshore assembly 

The supply chain will be based on the technology platforms for Leti, imec and STMicroelectronics, supported by a unified design environment.

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