Successful PhotonDelta Day!

04 December 2019

We look back at a successful event, with lively and good discussions on how to grow our integrated photonics industry! The team of PhotonDelta would like to express our appreciation and thank you for attending our first of many PhotonDelta days!

We had over 125 attendees with various backgrounds: specialized in integrated photonics, high tech and semicon industry or a (semi)governmental background. Our speakers and attendees brought different knowledge to our event; knowledge on design, manufacturing, packaging, equipment, commercialization, research and so on! In short, we had a close look on the lessons learned in high tech and semicon industry and to what extend the integrated photonics industry can learn from the past. During the event, we defined a more common ground on how to grow the industry, and thereby the strategy of PhotonDelta. Many new connections were made, and we hope our community has grown after the PhotonDelta day.

We had an inspiring keynote presentation by Martijn van Heck (Aarhus University). Martijn presented his considerations on how to growth the integrated photonic industry and took us on a journey, how to bridge the well-known ‘valley of death’. He inspired us to connect to markets through better communication, the use of (commercial) roadmaps and to set a passionate and visionary ‘dot on the horizon’ for the Dutch community.

Airbus is a customer of the PhotonDelta ecosystem. The space craft equipment unit within Airbus is an evident player in optical communication in space using satellites and will continue to develop as such in the future. Alex Mendes, programme manager at Airbus, explained to us that current technologies aren’t sufficient for the challenges they are faced with: the need for speed (bandwidth) and security. To overcome these challenges, Airbus is looking into integrated Photonics as a key enabling technology. If the roadmap is executed according plan, we can find integrated photonics in aircrafts within the next 5 years!

In the dialogue of designhouses, we discussed the role of design in scaling the industry. The CEO’s of the designhouses stated that integrated photonics is a valuable technology, but we need to scale up in order to be of added value for customers. Design is nice, but only 10 percent of the work done in the supply chain. The real challenge lies in scaling up. There’s a strong belief PhotonDelta plays a role in the worldwide market and according to the panel members the Netherlands has the required capabilities. Furthermore, we need to have a functional perspective not limited to (only) a perspective on integration. It’s the solution we can offer to customers that counts and to that end, it’s not about micro-electronics vs. photonics.

Martijn Heck – Aarhus University
Alex Mendes – Airbus
Ewit Roos – PhotonDelta

Challenges were picked up in subsessions

After the break we had several subsessions, where attendees talked in depth on topics such as the equipment needs of the industry, the packaging and assembly challenges, the PhotonDelta Flagship project and the Photonic Integration Technology Centre.

At the final slot of the day, Oded Raz from the Eindhoven University of Technology gave a lively presentation on his idea for programmable PICs. In order to succeed, he emphasized the need to work in multidisciplinary teams; not only integrated photonics or micro-electronics, but also with chemical and material scientists and experts.

Sonia Garcia Blanco, University of Twente, gave her vision on sensors and health. When using integrated photonics and sensors, real-time monitoring and personalized medicine becomes within reach. Where Oded Raz dared to predict the future with the help of wise philosophers, Sonia found her inspiration in the 60’s. Surprisingly, Star Trek does a pretty good job in predicting the future of sensors!

We need to have a functional perspective, not limited to (only) a perspective on integration. It’s the solution we can offer to customers that counts and to that end, it’s not about micro-electronics vs. photonics.

Dialogue of Designhouses

We discussed the role of design in scaling up the industry. A dialogue with 
Tim Tiek (Bruco), Ronald Broeke (Bright Photonics), Meint Smit and Ton Backx (TU/e).

Chairman of the day: Charles Smit

Charles Smit is chairman of Holland Semiconductors and is Nexperia’s General Counsel. He lead this PhotonDelta Day as our chairman, with enthusiasm and humor. Many thanks!

Special thanks

René Penning de Vries, chairman of the Supervisory Board of PhotonDelta, expressed our appreciation to Ton Backx, for his work for PhotonDelta.