Photonics Goes Mainstream: Channeling Semiconductors' Challenges

Jan 17, 2024
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About This Webinar
By utilizing photons instead of electrons as the working fluid of microcircuitry, Silicon Photonics represents the single biggest technological leap to challenge the semiconductor industry since the integrated circuit. Silicon Photonics leverages materials, processes, and tools familiar from semiconductor manufacturing to fabricate photonic circuitry alongside microelectronics. This promises scalability and savings even as functionalities escalate in complexity and sophistication. Still, key differences were immediately encountered, unfamiliar cost drivers were confronted, and fresh roadblocks were identified that required new thinking and solutions… and in many cases still do.

This is itself a parallel between photonics and semiconductors. The early years of semiconductors, in the 1980s, saw heavily labor-intensive processes for test and packaging give way to custom automation solutions devised by teams of integrators. These one-off solutions developed the robust ecosystem of tool-builders we know today. In Silicon Photonics, we see a similar transition from handwork to full automation. An enabler is the advent of novel solutions that cost-effectively address the critical steps of nanoscale-accurate alignment of photonic components. The next step -- the rise of a toolmaker ecosystem -- is underway. This has profound import on production economics and is key to the industry's ability to serve emerging volume applications ranging from biosensors to LIDAR to quantum computing.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2024 Photonics Spectra Integrated Photonics Summit. For more information on Photonics Media conferences and summits, visit

About the presenter

Scott JordanScott Jordan is head of photonics for PI (Physik Instrumente) LP and is a PI fellow. A physicist with an MBA in finance/new ventures, Jordan has made multiple contributions to the fields of photonics alignment automation, precision motion control, and optimization technologies.
integrated photonicsSensors & Detectorslidarsemiconductorssilicon photonics
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