PhotonHub Europe – a new pan-European photonics digital innovation hub –has been awarded €19 million investment from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Imec’s role in PhotonHub Europe focuses on innovation support to European SMEs that develop products based on silicon or silicon nitride photonic ICs. Over the past 20 years imec has built mature platforms for prototyping and manufacturing such ICs. These chips can address functionalities in a very broad wavelength range – from the visible all the way to the mid infrared – and can serve innovation needs in a vast variety of applications, including telecommunications and datacommunications, LIDAR, computing, sensing and medicine. Furthermore, in recent years imec has developed heterogeneous integration processes that enable the integration of III-V semiconductor light sources onto silicon and silicon nitride PICs. These are also reaching a level of maturity that can serve industrial innovation needs.
Next to imec, Ghent University is also partner in PhotonHub Europe with a complementary role of training initiatives in the field of silicon and silicon nitride integrated photonics. Given the rapid growth of these fields there is an acute shortage of skilled experts. The European Silicon Photonics Alliance ePIXfab (hosted by Ghent University) will build on its track record of advocacy and education to set up a variety of training events addressing all aspects of the workflow behind the development of silicon PIC enabled products.