Smart Photonics, Eindhoven University of Technology enter into strategic partnership

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Luc Augustin (CTO Smart Photonics), Johan Feenstra (CEO Smart Photonics) and Frank Baaijens (rector TU/e) Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

SMART Photonics, an independent pure-play foundry producing high-end Photonic Integrated Circuits, and TU/e today signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement. This aims at further strengthening the development of Indium Phosphide (InP) photonic integration technology and providing a smooth path of new technologies to end customers.

Photonic chips, also called photonic integrated circuits (PICs), integrate photonic functions into microchips to create smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices.

These next generation chips will drive change across many applications and emerging technologies. Integrated photonics is expected to play an essential role in addressing key societal challenges and advancing technological solutions to the next level.

Rapidly growing market

TU/e was one of the founding partners of SMART Photonics ten years ago. The company has developed rapidly since. Last year it featured in Europe’s top-50 of most promising scale-ups. TU/e and SMART Photonics have always worked closely together to their mutual benefit.

With this collaboration now formalized in this agreement, both parties commit to a long-term strategic partnership. The joint efforts will reinforce the continuous research and development of InP photonic integration and are expected to provide a smooth path to industrialization. This aims to provide the entire photonic ecosystem with top notch industrial production capacity of PICs 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, 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.

Powerhouse in integrated photonics

Rector Frank Baaijens of TU/e: “We are very pleased to further intensify our collaboration. Eindhoven University of Technology is world leading in photonics research and technology, and co-founder of the Photon Delta ecosystem."

"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.”

Luc Augustin, CTO of SMART Photonics: “This agreement strengthens our collaboration with TU/e, one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world. 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. I am convinced that our combined efforts will strongly contribute to the further industrialisation of PIC technology and our technology leadership, benefiting the full photonic ecosystem.”

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