Under the umbrella of the European Silicon Photonics Cluster, 10 European
R+D project consortia coordinate their efforts in silicon photonics. Imec
is involved in 7 of these consortia, which consist of research institutes, universities,
and companies. The goal of the cluster is to build a unique photonics value
chain, facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology and strengthening
Europe’s electronics industry. The cluster’s projects aim at introducing
silicon photonics in innovative products.
Silicon photonics uses CMOS techniques to integrate optics technology onto
chips. Compared to other photonics technologies, this may substantially lower
the cost, size and power consumption of components, while improving their performance.
The result will be low-cost solutions for a number of applications, including
optical communications, optical interconnects between semiconductor chips and
circuit boards, optical signal processing, optical sensing, and biological applications.
Silicon photonics is widely seen as a viable technology to meet the cost and
volume demand of such markets.
With the European Silicon Photonics Cluster, the research consortia will improve
the awareness of silicon photonics and its potential among chip foundries, end-users,
start-ups and other companies. In addition, the research centers will disseminate
the results of their projects to the wider industry and public. And they will
train young scientists, engineers and researchers in this emerging field. Last,
the cluster members will organize a silicon photonics workshop for the industry
The European Silicon Photonics Cluster represents more than 30M€ (36M$)
in investment by the EU and the participating countries. In establishing the
cluster, the members agree that silicon photonics provides new opportunities
and opens new markets for European microelectronics companies.
The research projects and their focuses are:
• Boom: terabit-on-chip: micro- and nanoscale silicon photonic integrated
components and sub-systems enabling Tb/s capacity, scalable, fully-integrated
photonic routers (www.ict-boom.eu).
• Historic: heterogeneous InP-on-silicon technology for optical routing
and logic (www.ict-historic.eu).
• Helios: functional integration of photonics electronics on CMOS (www.helios-project.eu).
• Intopsens: highly integrated optical sensors for point-of-care, label-free
identification of pathogenic bacteria strains and their antibiotic resistance
• PhotonFAB: strengthening the silicon photonics platform ePIXfab, lowering
the barriers for access to silicon photonics IC technology (www.photonfab.eu
• Platon: Tb/s optical-routing for optical interconnects, using plasmonics
• SOFI: low-cost active optical waveguides and ultralow-power integrated
optoelectronics circuits based on novel silicon-organic hybrid technology (www.sofi-ict.eu).
• UK Silicon Photonic: mainly targeting interconnect technologies (www.uksiliconphotonics.co.uk).
• Wadimos: wavelength-division multiplexed photonic layers on CMOS (wadimos.intec.ugent.be).
• Sabio: ultrahigh sensitivity slot-waveguide biosensors on a highly integrated
chip for simultaneous diagnosis of multiple diseases (ist-sabio.org).
For more information on the Silicon Photonics Cluster, visit http://www.siliconphotonics.eu/