Tyndall National Institute at the forefront of global photonics industry as PhotonicLEAP secures over €5 million in EU Funding to develop disruptive photonics packaging and test technologies.
PhotonicLEAP, a European collaborative project coordinated by Ireland's Tyndall National Institute, has been awarded over €5 million through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme to develop game-changing technology that will drive down the cost of photonics manufacturing.
With demand for photonics being driven by mass market technology requirements, the global photonics market is expected to be worth over €850 billion by 2026. High speed fibre optic communications, cardiac diagnostic sensors, self-driving cars and a myriad of IoT technologies all require photonic integrated circuits (PIC). However, photonics manufacturing is very costly, particularly in the areas of packaging and testing. The European Union is driving a state-of-the-art manufacturing infrastructure for the photonics industry, and through the PhotonicLEAP programme, is positioning Europe at the forefront of wafer-level photonics integration development, packaging and test technologies to reduce the cost of production tenfold.
Tyndall's Head of Photonics Packaging and Systems Integration, Prof. Peter O'Brien, has pioneered a number of EU photonics projects and will lead PhotonicsLEAP. Welcoming funding for the project, Prof. O’Brien said;
"Photonics is the key to unlocking the potential of technologies we need for today's interconnected world. We need faster, more efficient, greener and cheaper solutions to our increasing usage of technology, which photonics manufacturing addresses. Therefore, we are delighted to receive this significant and vital funding from the European Commission to enable us to develop truly disruptive photonic packaging and test technologies. I look forward to coordinating this exciting transnational consortium, which brings together a wealth of photonics expertise, interdisciplinary skills and impressive infrastructure to deliver on our ambitious objectives. We are confident that photonic packaging and test technologies developed in PhotonicLEAP can make a real impact to increase the uptake of Integrated Photonics across Europe.”
The PhotonicLEAP programme will develop new technologies to produce a revolutionary Surface Mount Technology (SMT) PIC package, which for the first time incorporates multiple optical and electrical connections and can be scaled from low to very large volumes. The project will validate these technologies through two state-of-the-art demonstrators, including a high-speed optical communication module and a portable medical device for cardio-vascular diagnostics. Furthermore, the technologies will be implemented by the flagship European PIC Packaging Pilot Line, PIXAPP, for future commercialisation.
The PhotonicLEAP consortium includes a number of internationally renowned research organisations and companies, including Fraunhofer (IZM & HHI), LPKF Laser & Electronic, ficonTEC Ireland, SUSS MicroOptics, BOSCH, Eindhoven University of Technology – TU/e and Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum – imec as well as Tyndall National Institute.