Leti to Coordinate Four-Year EC Project Targeting A Complete European Supply Chain in Silicon Photonics

  Leti to Coordinate Four-Year EC Project Targeting A Complete European Supply
  Chain in Silicon Photonics

Business Wire

GRENOBLE, France -- February 20, 2013

CEA-Leti today announced that it will coordinate a four-year project aimed at
building a European-based supply chain in silicon photonics and speeding
industrialization of the technology.

The PLAT4M (Photonic Libraries And Technology for Manufacturing) project will
focus on bringing the existing silicon photonics research platform to a level
that enables seamless transition to industry, suitable for different
application fields and levels of production volume.

PLAT4M, which is funded by a European Commission grant of 10.2 million euros,
includes 15 leading European R&D institutes and CMOS companies, key industrial
and research organizations in design and packaging, as well as end users in
different application fields to build the complete supply chain.

“Silicon with its mature integration platform has brought electronic circuits
to mass-market applications – our vision is that silicon photonics will follow
this evolution,” said Laurent Fulbert, Integrated Photonics Program Manager at
CEA-Leti, coordinator of PLAT4M. “Upgrading existing platforms to become
compatible with industrialization is now essential and this requires
streamlining and stabilizing the design and process flows by taking into
account design robustness, process variability and integration constraints.
The PLAT4M partners bring a critical combination of expertise to the challenge
of building a complete supply chain for commercializing silicon photonics in

A surge in output of silicon photonics research in recent years has
significantly boosted the potential for commercial exploitation of the
technology. However, most of this R&D has been devoted to developing
elementary building blocks, rather than fabricating complete photonic
integrated circuits, which are needed to support large potential markets.

The PLAT4M consortium will make technologies and tools mature by building a
coherent design flow, demonstrating manufacturability of elementary devices
and process integration and developing a packaging toolkit. The project will
validate the complete supply chain through application-driven test vehicles
representing various application fields, such as telecom and datacom, gas
sensing and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and vibrometry. It also will
focus on preparing the next-generation platform by setting up a roadmap for
performance evolution and assessing scalability to high-volume production.

The supply chain will be based on technology platforms of Leti, imec and
STMicroelectronics, supported by a unified design environment.

The multiple benefits of PLAT4M for the European photonic industry will

  *Preparing the supply chain for silicon photonics technology, from
    chip-level technology to packaged circuits
  *Making integration technologies accessible to a broad circle of users in a
    fabless model
  *Contributing to the development of a design environment that facilitates
    photonics/electronics convergence
  *Moving the emphasis from the component to the architecture, and thus
    concentrate efforts on new products or new functionalities rather than the
    technology level
  *Aggregating competencies in photonics/electronics design and fabrication,
  *Retaining the key added value in components in Europe through
    optoelectronic integration, with little added value in offshore assembly

PLAT4M Consortium Members

The consortium consists of renowned technology providers, research institutes,
end users and SMEs with excellent track records in advanced photonics
technologies. At the design and process level, CEA and imec have been the most
prominent European players in silicon photonics for a decade. Together with
University of Paris-Sud, III-V Lab and TNO, they have demonstrated numerous
scientific and technological breakthroughs.

For building a complete design flow, Mentor Graphics, PhoeniX BV and Si2 are
world leaders in EDA tools and will work together to develop a common
reference platform.

STMicroelectronics (France and Italy) brings its vast experience in
microelectronics, and it has been engaged for the past year in the development
of silicon photonics at the industrial level. Tyndall-UCC and Aifotec are
renowned experts in the field of optoelectronic packaging and will work
together on the implementation of packaging technologies developed within
PLAT4M in a manufacturing environment.

End-users like Polytec, Thales Research & Technology and NXP will drive the
demonstrators development and assess the use of silicon photonics in their
applications fields.

About CEA-Leti

Leti is an institute of CEA, a French research-and-technology organization
with activities in energy, IT, healthcare, defence and security. Leti is
focused on creating value and innovation through technology transfer to its
industrial partners. It specializes in nanotechnologies and their
applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology, healthcare and
photonics. NEMS and MEMS are at the core of its activities. An anchor of the
MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² of state-of-the-art clean room
space on 200mm and 300mm wafer platforms. It employs 1,700 scientists and
engineers including 240 Ph.D. students and 200 assignees from partner
companies. CEA-Leti owns more than 1,880 patent families. In 2011, CEA-Leti
entered the capital of III-V lab. The public-private partnership between
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Thales and CEA-Leti is combining III-V and silicon
semiconductor technologies, opening up new research perspectives and dynamics.
For more information, visit www.leti.fr.


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