21 July 2022
SMART Photonics and TU/e enter into long-term strategic partnership
Eindhoven-based independent pure-play indium phosphide (InP) photonic integrated circuit (PIC) foundry SMART Photonics and Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) in The Netherlands have signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement that aims to further strengthen the development of InP photonic integration technology and provide a smooth path of new technologies to end customers.
Ten years ago TU/e was one of the founding partners of SMART Photonics, which has developed rapidly since. Last year it featured in Europe’s top-50 most promising scale-ups. TU/e and SMART Photonics have always worked closely together to their mutual benefit.
With this collaboration now formalized in the agreement, both parties commit to a long-term strategic partnership. The joint efforts will reinforce the continuous R&D of InP photonic integration and are expected to provide a path to industrialization. This aims to provide the entire photonic ecosystem with industrial PIC production capacity to address a rapidly growing market.
The cooperation will involve activities such as developing new building blocks for SMART Photonics’ already comprehensive process design kit (PDK), developing future, more sustainable PIC production processes, and other next-generation technologies such as hybrid integration of different photonic and electronic platforms. In addition, SMART Photonics will support TU/e in activities aimed at educating ambitious and highly qualified engineers for the benefit of the entire PhotonDelta ecosystem.
“Eindhoven University of Technology is world leading in photonics research and technology, and co-founder of the Photon Delta ecosystem,” notes TU/e’s rector Frank Baaijens. “We are committed to further solidify the strong position of The Netherlands and its photonics ecosystem in which SMART Photonics, as an independent pure-play foundry, plays a system critical function. The objective is to enhance the position of Europe as powerhouse in integrated photonics,” he adds.
“This agreement strengthens our collaboration with TU/e, one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world,” comments SMART Photonics’ chief technology officer Luc Augustin. “It provides us access to new research, ideas and inventions that we will be able to offer to our customers as part of our strong technology offering. At the same time, it offers TU/e the ability to perform their research on the basis of the latest industrially robust and stable processes,” he adds. “Our combined efforts will strongly contribute to the further industrialization of PIC technology and our technology leadership, benefiting the full photonic ecosystem.”