PhotonDelta Expands to U.S. with California Office

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2024 — Netherlands-based photonic chip accelerator PhotonDelta has opened an office in California with the goal of growing the photonic chip industry by facilitating collaboration between European and North American organizations.

Backed by $1.2 billion to run R&D programs, international road mapping activities, and investment activities in startup companies, PhotonDelta’s new office seeks to bridge complementary technologies: Namely, silicon photonics in North America, with European expertise in materials such as indium phosphide, which is necessary for the creation of active components and silicon nitride to make sensors and quantum processors.

The Netherlands is a leader in integrated photonics technology, with the highest concentration of photonic chip technology organizations in the world and considerable expertise in indium phosphide and silicon nitride-based chips. The U.S. and North America have complementary expertise in silicon photonics and benefit from extensive manufacturing experience and infrastructure for CMOS processes.

“The integrated photonics industry is not a national industry, it’s a global industry,” said Jorn Smeets, PhotonDelta’s North American managing director. “We need to make sure that we connect to the organizations that are good at things that are relevant or necessary to bring the industry forward and work together.”

In the U.S. and North America, Smeets said, there are many organizations working in integrated photonics, and silicon photonics in particular. Due to geographic reasons, collaboration with these organizations is difficult.

“You need to have someone on the ground that is in the same time zone that can meet on shorter notice and attend networking events,” Smeets said. “You can progress a lot faster like that.”

Helping to solve North American challenges in integrated photonics through collaboration and investment is something that will be broadly beneficial, both in North America and at home in the Netherlands, Smeets said.

To that end, PhotonDelta is working to establish partnerships with prominent American industry organizations and businesses, not only for technological collaboration, but also for promoting a general awareness of the technology. One major impetus behind this is to bolster the workforce, for which the organization has set aside a considerable fund. According to Smeets, these efforts may include university exchange programs.

“That’s going to be a win-win, if we can overcome these challenges and make technology for multiple markets, create new applications, and produce efficiently in high volumes to make the technology affordable,” Smeets said.

The PhotonDelta ecosystem is comprised of 70 organizations that form a complete value chain, including design services, foundries for photonic chip fabrication, packaging, test, and assembly, as well as a number of fabless companies that use PIC technology for solutions. During the past five years, PhotonDelta has raised more than $500 million within the country’s burgeoning startup scene.

*This story has been updated.

Published: July 2024
integrated photonics
Integrated photonics is a field of study and technology that involves the integration of optical components, such as lasers, modulators, detectors, and waveguides, on a single chip or substrate. The goal of integrated photonics is to miniaturize and consolidate optical elements in a manner similar to the integration of electronic components on a microchip in traditional integrated circuits. Key aspects of integrated photonics include: Miniaturization: Integrated photonics aims to...
indium phosphide
Indium phosphide (InP) is a compound semiconductor material composed of indium (In) and phosphorus (P). It belongs to the III-V group of semiconductors, where elements from groups III and V of the periodic table combine to form a variety of important semiconductor materials. Indium phosphide is known for its favorable electronic and optical properties, making it widely used in the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. Key features and properties of indium phosphide include: Bandgap:...
photonic integrated circuit
A photonic integrated circuit (PIC) is a compact and integrated device that incorporates multiple photonic components and functions on a single chip, similar to the way electronic integrated circuits (ICs) integrate various electronic components. The goal of a photonic integrated circuit is to manipulate and control light signals for applications in optical communication, sensing, signal processing, and other photonic technologies. Key points about photonic integrated circuits: Integration...
BusinesscollaborationPhotonDeltaintegrated photonicssilicon photonicsMaterialsindium phosphidesilicon nitridechipsPICsphotonic integrated circuitphotonic integrated chipSensors & DetectorsLasersOpticsNetherlandsPhotonVenturesAmericasEurope

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