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EU Invests €15.5M in Photonic Packaging Pilot Line

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CORK, Ireland, April 11, 2017 — To provide Europe with infrastructure to support the industrial development and manufacture of photonic integrated circuits (PICs), the European Union is investing €15.5 million ($16.4 million) in a new international consortium led by the Tyndall National Institute called Pixapp.

Prof. Peter O'Brien, Head of Photonics Packaging Research at Tyndall National Institute, is leading the PIXAPP Consortium.
Prof. Peter O'Brien, Head of Photonics Packaging Research at Tyndall National Institute, is leading the PIXAPP Consortium. Courtesy of Tyndall National Institute.

“The consortium involved in Pixapp, led by Tyndall, has an unmatched record of excellence in delivering many world firsts in PICs,” said Peter O’Brien, Pixapp pilot line director and head oh photonics packaging research at Tyndall. “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.”

Packaging PICs can represent up to 80 percent of the cost of photonics components. 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 organizations.

”Furthermore, we plan to train and educate the photonics workforce of the future by creating a unique laboratory based training program,” O’Brien said. “This program is a game-changer not only for the European photonics industry, but also global photonics.”

Partners in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Italy and the Czech Republic each bring their own particular expertise to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with a unique infrastructure to help them exploit the breakthrough advantages of PIC technologies.

“In the past, it has been very expensive to manufacture high volumes of PICs, and more expensive and challenging again to package them,” said Jose Pozo, director of the European Photonics Industry Consortium. “This is creating a bottleneck for production, which is impacting the potential for growth in the photonics industry. I am confident that Tyndall National Institute’s leadership will deliver market success for Europe and drive our competitiveness across the communications, medical, automotive, energy, safety and defense sectors, globally.”

The Tyndall National Institute is a partnership between the University College Cork, the Science Foundation and the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment.
Apr 2017
Businessphotonic integrated circuitsEuropean UnionTyndall National InstitutePIXAPPPhotonic Packaging Pilot LineEuropeResearch & TechnologyEuro News

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