23 September 2020
Scintil appoints Soitec’s R&D director as board observer
Scintil Photonics of Grenoble, France, a fabless developer of silicon photonic fully integrated circuits (comprising multi-wavelength lasers, waveguides, wavelength filters and photodetectors) has appointed Ionut Radu, director of R&D at engineered substrate manufacturer Soitec of Bernin, near Grenoble, as an observer on its board of directors.
“His presence is a testament to the innovative designs underpinning our silicon photonic integrated circuits, which we are developing at an industrial level,” says Pascal Langlois, chairman of Scintil’s board.
Soitec will be the first industrial company represented on Scintil’s board, which comprises eight members.
Scintil says that it gained Soitec’s support due to the unique design approach of its photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for high-speed optical communications applications, particularly for data-centers, where improving efficiency is a major challenge.
Soitec’s role at Scintil is part of its long-term strategy to be actively engaged in providing material solutions for photonics markets and supporting startups through its involvement in venture capital funds, such as Innovacom, a Scintil shareholder. Soitec is therefore an indirect investor in Scintil.
“Scintil has unique solutions for developing high-speed optical communications photonic ICs, which also hold great promise in bringing advantages to 3D sensing and quantum photonics applications,” comments Thomas Piliszczuk, executive VP of global strategy at Soitec.
Enabling the integration of all the features needed to develop a fully integrated photonic IC, Scintil’s photonic platform is claimed to be the first in the market to provide optical communication applications with smaller, cost-effective, scalable and mass-producible PIC solutions.
Currently, 71.5% of data transmission occurs over short distances and inside data centers. Higher bit rates, reduced power consumption and cost are critical factors in meeting the growing traffic demand. Scintil says that its technology addresses these challenges with optical engines that are photonic fully integrated circuits, combining the high-end of silicon and indium phosphide (InP) photonic through wafer-scale bonding of InP on Si. It uses a commercial silicon photonic foundry to fabricate its PICs.
“Soitec brings to Scintil deep technological expertise, vision and global market experience,” comments Scintil’s president & chief technology officer Sylvie Menezo.
“Scintil’s disruptive PIC technology is key to improving the energy efficiency of data-center transceivers and sensors,” says Radu. “We at Soitec look forward to supporting the management team in its drive to bring these products to market within the next few years.”
Scintil has teams based in Grenoble, France, and Toronto, Canada. In 2019, it raised €4m ($4.4m) from private funds, and an additional €4m in national grants and bank loans. The firm recently reached an agreement with a commercial foundry for prototyping and volume production. It is targeting a set of prototypes this year (800Gb/s and 1600Gb/s) for entry into the market at the end of 2022.