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IMEC and CEA-LETI gear up cost-effective silicon photonics prototyping service

03.09.2008
IMEC and CEA-LETI launch ePIXfab, the continuation of their successful multi-project wafer silicon photonics prototyping service started in 2006.

Co-funded by the European Union through the Seventh Framework Program and coordinated by IMEC, ePIXfab aims at reducing the large barriers for access to and market take-up of silicon photonics technology by focusing on reduced cost, risk and design effort, education, and roadmapping.

With their joint initiative ePIXfab, IMEC and CEA-LETI continue to offer a cost-effective way for researchers and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) to prototype photonic integrated circuits in silicon. ePIXfab organizes shuttle (also called multi project wafer) fabrication runs with IMEC and LETI wafer-scale technologies, including 193nm deep-UV lithography-based processes. Now, IMEC and LETI have agreed to significantly extend this service to enable a broader market take-up of silicon photonic IC technology. Dedicated prototyping and small-volume manufacturing is also possible based on IMEC or LETI technology.

A wider offer

Starting in September 2008, the PhotonFAB project will provide the ePIXfab service with a more extensive technology portfolio, new design libraries, education and training for the clients, a shuttle service roadmap and a more streamlined operation. Funded by the European Union as a FP7 Support Action, PhotonFAB will in this way lower the design effort, risk and bare costs for the clients. In addition, clients from countries fully associated to the FP7 program will be able to get additional cost reductions for the shuttle service and training activities.

Silicon photonics IC technology enables versatile and highly functional integrated circuits that handle light information. Photonic integrated circuits are used in applications such as communication networks, sensors, monitoring and bio-analysis. Using silicon allows to increase the functionality of a photonic chip by several orders of magnitude. By manufacturing with CMOS technology, the chips are reliable and can be used in volume applications.

Since 2006, thanks to the collaboration between IMEC and CEA-LETI, over 25 academic and SME groups have been able to perform their research and develop their IC technology in a fabless way with reduced costs, by joining many IC designs in a single fabrication run.

Information sessions

ePIXfab will organize two information sessions for its fabrication service and on the PhotonFAB project: one at the IEEE Group IV Photonics conference, September 17-19 2008, Sorrento, Italy, and a second one at the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication 2008 (ECOC), September 21-25 2008, Brussels, Belgium

Detailed information on these events and the ePIXfab services is available from www.epixfab.eu

Katrien Marent | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imec.be
http://www2.imec.be/imec_com/imec-and-cea-leti-gear-up-cost-effective_.php
http://www-leti.cea.fr

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