After in April initiating an assembly & packaging production line for high-volume fabrication of photonic integrated circuit (PIC) modules at the University of Twente’s High Tech Factory, PHIX Photonics Assembly of Enschede, The Netherlands has raised a first round of investment, led by Oost NL (East Netherlands Development Agency, which focuses on the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel) through funds available via Innovatiefonds Twente.
“We have strong support from the province of Overijssel, Innovatiefonds Twente, Saxion Hogeschool, the University of Twente, and the world-class photonics companies such as LioniX International, which established a unique position and reputation in a suite of application markets for photonic integrated circuits,” says Albert Hasper, director of PHIX B.V.
“With the creation of PHIX Photonic Assembly in April 2017, we secured access to test, assembly and packaging modules for large volumes,” he adds. “With this first round of investment, led by Oost NL, we can accelerate the scaling up of our assembly and packaging processes for photonic integrated circuits.”
PHIX will work in close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Project Center on packaging standards for high-volume manufacturing of integrated photonics modules and with PhoeniX Software on developing the appropriate photonic design kits, dedicated for assembly and packaging, to secure volume scalability and fast time-to-market of novel sensors in datacom, telecom and medical applications.
Hans van den Vlekkert, CEO of LioniX International (initiator and orchestrator of the establishment of PHIX B.V.) emphasizes the need for the presence of a strong, regional eco-system, where education, design, manufacturing and volume production are at hand.
“We have seen accelerated growth of the integrated photonics market over the past year, especially for the demand of devices that are based on our low-loss TriPleX platform,” says Vlekkert. “We have delivered many prototypes to international customers and anticipate that volume demand for the PIC modules is starting, which requires an efficient organization, such as PHIX B.V., where the infrastructure and production flow are tailored to achieve cost-effective assembly and packaging of PIC modules,” he concludes.