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17th of December 2020

Cambridge (USA) Eindhoven (NL), December 14 - The 2020 Integrated Photonics System Roadmap – International (IPSR-I), a global reference document that reveals the full potential of integrated photonics, has been released jointly by MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manuafcturing (IKIM) in Cambridge, which runs the AIM Photonics Academy project and PhotonDelta, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. It charts the technology development of various branches of integrated photonics over the short, medium and long term. The authors of the IPSR-I describe the revolutionary advancements that integrated photonics will bring to the world, transforming industries and tackling global societal challenges in the years to come.

 Lionel Kimerling, Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT: ‘The IPSR-I represents the consensus of more than 400 participants. It is the document of record to align the technology supply chain, from research to end users, to synchronously meet yield, integration, and performance requirements for integrated photonic systems. The commitment of the Working Groups to continuously reach consensus on trends and challenges at every node in the technology supply chain is critical to the timely adoption of scalable, synergistic electronic-photonic system solutions.’
Ewit Roos, CEO PhotonDelta: ‘The ultimate function of a roadmap is to join forces to identify the needs for research and development and turn the foreseen outcome into a reference for readers to create next-generation integrated photonics solutions that will help the world overcome societal challenges. I would like to express my gratitude to the worldwide community that made this possible and for acknowledging the necessity to come together and convert technology insights and product requirements. A great first step has been set.‘ 
Knowledge merger
In total, more than 400 experts from around the world have contributed over the last three years to the IPSR-I. They represent an equal mix of large multinationals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and institutes and universities. The 2020 IPSR-I is the merger of two independent roadmaps: the US-based IPSR Roadmap, sponsored by MIT's Microphotonics Center and MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manufacturing, which runs the AIM Photonics Academy project, and the European-based World Technology Mapping Forum, sponsored by PhotonDelta. 
The full report is available as of today and can be downloaded here:

Launch event
The report was released at a digital launch event on December 10th. Six notable industry leaders, from organizations including Facebook, Royal Philips, and the European Space Agency, spoke about the role of integrated photonics in their respective organizations and sectors and how it shapes the future for our technology and society. They shared their visions of the opportunities that lay ahead with this technology and what is needed to achieve mass adoption on a global scale. 
-       Lionel Kimerling, Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT & Prof. Ton Backx, Eindhoven University of Technology
-       Akira Okada, Vice President, Head of NTT Device Technology Labs
-       Rob Stone, Technical Sourcing Manager, Facebook
-       Eamonn Murphy, Engineering Directorate, European Space Agency
-       Cees Ronda, Research Fellow, Senior Director at Royal Philips
You can watch the digital launch event here (please note: due to a technical error the introduction has not been recorded):
The world faces a number of societal challenges across many industries and markets, including how to sustainably keep up with an ever-growing amount of global data traffic. Data centers need to find a way to become sustainable while keeping pace with the increasing amount of exchanged data. Co-packaging of integrated photonics and electronics is a key step forward in addressing those challenges.
Integrated photonics as a key enabling solution 
Photonic integration is a key enabling technology that generates, processes, and detects light for sensing and communication applications. Integrated photonic chips are frequently cheaper, faster, lighter, more reliable, and more accurate than incumbent technologies that are based on electronics or bulk optics. For this reason, integrated photonics has the potential to revolutionize innumerable industries and help overcome serious global societal and technological challenges. In the roadmap, PhotonDelta and MIT’s IKIM have focused on those application fields they believe are ready for transformation: data & telecom, aerospace, automotive, biosensors & medical, and industrial (industrial internet of things).
Data and Telecom
The growing prevalence of smartphones, the internet of things, smart cities and autonomous driving creates a strong need for more and faster processing of huge amounts of data. At the same time, this continuous surge in data usage and traffic puts pressure on companies to reduce costs and power consumption. Integrated photonics provides the solutions to these problems.
As Akira Okada, Vice President and Head of NTT Device Technology Labs explained: ‘Capacity of mobile and fixed communication systems keeps being challenged by an ever increasing amount of data. Integrated photonics is a key technology to enable those needs thanks to its ability to effectively integrate complex transceiver systems on a chip or perform processing functions in the “photonic” domain.’
Automotive and aerospace
IIntegrated photonics enables a smaller, lighter and cheaper solution for real-time monitoring of complex engineering infrastructures and equipment, such as bridges, dikes, airplanes and aerospace. Eamonn Murphy (ESA, Aerospace): ‘Flying vectors require fast, reliable and secure communications as well as dedicated accurate sensors for positioning and navigation. Integrated photonics can enable small yet accurate solutions.’
Integrated photonics also has strong potential in the automotive sector, where autonomous vehicles currently use expensive radar and sensor systems. A LiDAR system based on integrated photonics would reduce costs and increase accuracy.
Biological and medical applications
With an ever increasing and aging population, our healthcare system needs to change in order to provide effective patient care at an affordable cost.
As a consequence, a large shift is expected toward increased prevention and early diagnostics performed outside of hospitals – at the doctor’s office or even at home. This drives a need for affordable, yet still accurate, (medical) instruments to get people the care they need. Integrated photonics offers both accurate and cheap sensors that can result in smaller and more affordable medical devices.
Cees Ronda, Research Fellow, Senior Director at Royal Philips: ‘Integrated photonics is one of the key technologies for data communication and optical sensing. The Dutch Integrated Photonics Cluster will contribute significantly to developing this key technology, further strengthening the very competitive Dutch knowledge economy.’
About IKIM’s AIM Photonics Academy project
Through the AIM Photonics Academy project at MIT, MIT is building a high-capacity, data-driven future economy, by educating students and engineers in cutting-edge knowledge for the design and fabrication of photonic integrated circuits.  Offerings include online courses, boot camps, and teaching packages. IKIM is also building a roadmap to chart the transformative impact of integrated photonics, as this emerging technology expands and extends the applications and successes of the electronics industry. 

Roadmap overview:
The full report can be downloaded here:
Watch the digital launch event here:
More information
MIT Microphotonics Center                              :
AIM Photonics                                                  :


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