Posted in | News | Nanomaterials

Automate Testing of Silicon Photonics Circuits and Fiber Optics

PI’s new air-bearing-based high-speed automated photonics alignment system provides maintenance-free, 24/7 performance, and high throughput.

Auburn, MA – PI, a leading provider of precision motion control and nanopositioning solutions, recently unveiled a new automated multi-axis photonics alignment system at the Photonics West and OFC conferences in California. This cutting-edge 3-DOF alignment stage boasts a compact design, powerful algorithms, and intuitive software to provide users with ultra-fast, precise alignment capabilities for fibers, waveguides, and modern silicon photonics devices.

Image Credit: PI (Physik Instrumente) LP​​​​​​​

Multi-Axis Stage, Controller, and Software – Ideal for Silicon Photonics and Fiber Alignment Applications

The multi-axis stage is based on friction-free air bearings and linear motors, which enable smooth, continuous motion and nanometer-level resolution. This makes it an ideal solution for high-throughput photonics test and production applications that require high dynamics and long-term stability – i.e. for coupling light into waveguides, fibers, and modern silicon photonics devices.

Ideal for Clean Room Environments – Zero Wear and No Lubricants

The stage's wear-free air bearings and non-contact linear motors ensure clean-room compatibility because no lubricants or wearing parts – such as common in conventional motorized fiber positioning stages with mechanical bearings – are involved in its operation.

On-Board Ultra-Fast Scan and Align Algorithms

The ACS-based motion and alignment controller that powers the stage features embedded ultra-fast scan and alignment routines, including serpentine and circular scans, as well as a fast hill-climb gradient search. Embedded alignment routines provide higher performance, since communication with an external host computer is not required. The advanced photonics alignment system can handle quasi-gaussian profiles, top-hat profiles, and other typical optical power distributions.

User-Friendly Software Packages Reduce Time to Market

To further enhance usability and reduce time-to-market, PI has developed a comprehensive software package called MMI Application Studio. This user-friendly tool enables users to configure, tune, program, and characterize motion performance quickly and easily. The software package also includes ACS host application libraries for popular platforms, such as C/C++, COM, .NET, Python, MATLAB, and Linux, as well as open-source graphical application examples in major languages like LabVIEW, Python, C#, and Visual Basic.

6-DOF Alignment Engines​​​​​​​

Finally, for applications that require six degrees-of-freedom alignment, PI also offers a six-axis air bearing alignment engine with controller and software. With this comprehensive suite of solutions, PI is well-positioned to meet the demanding needs of modern photonics and silicon photonics applications.

Working with You

PI’s in-house engineered solutions have enabled customers around the world to increase their productivity and technological advantage for 5 decades. With a large basis of proven motion technologies and methodologies, PI is in the position to quickly modify existing designs or provide a fully customized OEM solution to fit the exact requirements of your application, including fast photonics alignment engines, multi-axis automation sub-systems, nanopositioning stages for semiconductor manufacturing, microscope scanning stages, and piezo transducers / sensors. 

About PI

PI is a privately held, global leading company that designs and manufactures world-class precision motion and automation sub-systems including air bearings, hexapod micro-positioning robots, and piezo drives at locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded 5 decades ago and today employs more than 1,500 people worldwide. PI’s customers are leaders in high-tech industries and research labs, in market segments such as photonics, life-sciences, semiconductors, industrial automation and aerospace.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP. (2023, June 08). Automate Testing of Silicon Photonics Circuits and Fiber Optics. AZoNano. Retrieved on July 17, 2024 from

  • MLA

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP. "Automate Testing of Silicon Photonics Circuits and Fiber Optics". AZoNano. 17 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP. "Automate Testing of Silicon Photonics Circuits and Fiber Optics". AZoNano. (accessed July 17, 2024).

  • Harvard

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP. 2023. Automate Testing of Silicon Photonics Circuits and Fiber Optics. AZoNano, viewed 17 July 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.