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SMART Photonics Doubles Production Capacity

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SMART Photonics, a foundry for photonic integrated circuits, has scaled up its production of photonic chips by transferring its entire production capability from 3-inch to 4-inch wafer substrates. According to the company, SMART Photonics is among the first photonic integrated circuit foundries offering 4-inch indium phosphide wafer production.

In general, 4-inch wafers contain close to twice the number of chips as 3-inch wafers. The resulting increase in production rate will translate to a lower price-per-chip, the company said.
SMART Photonics has transferred its production capability from 3-inch wafers to 4-inch wafers. The larger wafers contain close to double the amount of chips as 3-inch wafers. Courtesy of SMART Photonics.
SMART Photonics has transferred its production capability from 3-inch wafers to 4-inch wafers. The larger wafers contain close to double the number of chips as 3-inch wafers. Courtesy of SMART Photonics.

“It’s not just about the sheer number of wafers produced; the larger wafer substrate will now enable us to better meet the number of optical chips needed in the market,” SMART Photonics COO Guy Backner said. He added that the competitive price point will aid the company in its goal to achieve a leading role in the integrated photonics ecosystem.

The transition was enabled in part by a $111 million financing round last year from strategic industry and financial players such as PhotonDelta, chip equipment giant ASML, and chipmaker NXP Semiconductors. The transition also benefitted from the European Union’s Interreg North-West Europe project OIP4NWE.


Published: January 2024
Glossary
semiconductor
A semiconductor is a type of material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator. In other words, semiconductors have properties that are intermediate between metals (good conductors of electricity) and insulators (poor conductors of electricity). The conductivity of a semiconductor can be controlled and modified by factors such as temperature, impurities, or an applied electric field. The most common semiconductors are crystalline solids, and they are...
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:...
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...
wafer
In the context of electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, a wafer refers to a thin, flat disk or substrate made of a semiconducting material, usually crystalline silicon. Wafers serve as the foundation for the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and other microdevices. Here are key points regarding wafers: Material: Silicon is the most commonly used material for wafer fabrication due to its excellent semiconductor properties, high purity,...
lithography
Lithography is a key process used in microfabrication and semiconductor manufacturing to create intricate patterns on the surface of substrates, typically silicon wafers. It involves the transfer of a desired pattern onto a photosensitive material called a resist, which is coated onto the substrate. The resist is then selectively exposed to light or other radiation using a mask or reticle that contains the pattern of interest. The lithography process can be broadly categorized into several...
Businessproductionmanufacturingphotonic integrated circuitsPICssemiconductorindium phosphideInPintegrated photonicschipsSMART Photonics. PhotonDeltawafer4 inch3 inchlithography4-inch3-inchEuropeIndustry News

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