Two days, 5 themes, over 30 inspiring presentations

Presentation at PIC International 2021 are grouped into 5 key themes which collectively provide complete coverage of the global photonics industry.

If you are interested in speaking at PIC International 2021, please contact info@picinternational.net or call +44 (0)2476 718 970.

2021 Speakers Include

ADVA Optical Networking
AIM Photonics
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Broadex Technologies
Cornerstone, University of Southampton
Corning Optical Communications
EFFECT Photonics
Elenion Technologies
ePIXfab – European Silicon Photonics Alliance
Fraunhofer HHI
Freedom Photonics
Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH
Juniper Networks
Lightwave Logic Inc
LioniX International
Luceda Photonics
Luminous Computing
Multiphoton Optics
ommatidia lidar
ON Semiconductor
Rockley Photonics
Smart Photonics
Strategy Analytics
VLC Photonics
Yole Développement

2021 Presentation Abstracts

PICs Today − Datacom, Sensing & LiDAR
Panel Session


A LIDAR consists mainly of a laser source, a laser beam scanner, and the detection optics. Pushed by the automotive market, solid-state LIDARs are promising in bringing the cost down while making them more robust, with no moving parts, and compact. PICs offer some very concrete opportunities for LIDAR. In solid-state LIDARs, PICs can be used as the laser source. When combined with the on-chip components typically used in communications technology, pulsed lasers and frequency-modulated lasers can be realized. PICs can also be used to replace the beam-steering part of the LIDAR, through the use of optical phased arrays. Much like phased-array antennas in wireless communications, such optical phased arrays can shape the laser beam and steer it fast for video-rate three-dimensional imaging. The system has no moving components, as compared to using mechanical and micro-mechanical (MEMS) scanning devices, making it robust, and is lens-free. Laboratory based implementations have already shown the feasibility, and the technology is now moving to the market. Sources and detectors can be integrated on the PIC, with the potential of realizing a fully integrated, single-chip LIDAR, and allowing unprecedented high volumes at low cost. The purpose of the panel discussion on PICs for LIDAR is to discuss these unique selling points of PICs with LIDAR manufacturers, TIER-1 suppliers and OEM in automotive and other markets.

Jose Pozo
Grégory Pandraud
ommatidia lidar
Michael Kiehn
Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH
Paul Leisher
Freedom Photonics
Roozbeh Parsa
Rockley Photonics

An overview of a variety of cutting edge PICs for sensing applications

Presented by Paul Leisher, Vice President of Research, Freedom Photonics

Over the past decade, photonic integrated circuits have found a variety of new application areas, including many different types of sensing systems. Photonic integration has enabled new functionality, as well as reduction in size, weight and power (and eventually cost) of these new systems. In this talk, we will provide an overview of a variety of cutting edge PICs for sensing applications, with the focus on some of the recent technology that we have developed in this arena.

Automotive, LiDAR & MedTech – Providing access & experiences gained

Presented by Ignazio Piacentini, Director of Business Development, ficonTEC

Over the last 12 months ficonTEC has been involved in, or is directly responsible for developments that ease access for certain customers, and has gained valuable experience in, and insights into some of the currently topical segments.

From Prototypes to Production: Compact packaging of miniaturized light sources

Presented by Ruth Houbertz, CEO & Managing Director, Multiphoton Optics

Driven by IoT, Industry 4.0, and social media the amount of data to be transferred is tremendously increasing, pushing the need for miniaturized and energy-efficient device concepts for a vast variety of products. This requires fundamental changes for the way that photonic integrated systems are designed and built, also taking environmental aspects into account. Automated High Precision 3D Printing using n-in-1 high performance materials has led to a paradigm shift in optical device manufacturing enabled by its intrinsic 3D capability and scalable, resource-saving processes. Different use cases from waferscale via assemblies to replication will be presented.

Hybrid Photonic Integration for Sensing and Communications

Presented by Martin Schell, Executive Director, Fraunhofer HHI

Hybrid PICs offer great design flexibility and enabling optical functionalities that cannot be realized efficiently in monolithic photonic integration platforms. Examples from the PolyBoard platform of Fraunhofer HHI are multilayer waveguide structures for 3D photonic integrated crossing-free switching matrices and optical phased arrays for 3D beam steering in LiDAR applications. By integrating non-reciprocal or nonlinear optical crystals in on-chip free-space sections, isolators and circulators as well as visible light sources for sensing applications can be realized efficiently and cost-effective. Automated assembly processes ensure the scalability of the developed hybrid PICs from single prototypes towards production.

Importance of Photonic tools for simulation and design

Presented by Remco Stoffer, Synopsys

Awaiting presentation abstract.

Integrated 4D Machine Vision

Presented by Mehdi Asghari, President and CEO, SiLC

Enabling high accuracy and long range 4D+ machine perception utilizing integration of 1550nm FMCW LiDARs in silicon photonics

Low-Voltage Si-Ge APDs for Data Communication

High-sensitivity receivers with internal gain can relieve the link budget challenge in operations of PAM4 and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and achieve high energy efficiency for data communication. Here we review the recent progress on the development of low-voltage Si-Ge APD receivers and demonstrate its 60 Gb/s PAM4 modulation. Alternative APD designs are also discussed that is able to further reduce the energy consumption for a data communication link.

Novel electro-optical substrate enabling cost effective PIC assembly solutions for sensor and communication applications

Presented by Felix Betschon, CEO, Vario-optics

Electro-optical circuit boards (EOCB) provide electrical circuits and optical waveguides tightly integrated on a single device. They can thus serve as substrate enabling cost-effective assembly for photonic and electronic ICs. This presentation will discuss recent progress and achievements in developing EOCBs as part of PIC based optical communication devices and will show some novel sensor packaging approaches based on this technology.

PICs for data-center interconnects

Presented by Benjamin Wohlfeil, Manager Advanced Technology, ADVA Optical Networking

Driven by growing demand for data intensive applications in both consumer and commercial areas, increasingly interconnected data-center and telecommunication networks are needed. Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are now at the basis of every high-speed optical transceiver as they offer high value in several technical and economical aspects. Nonetheless further innovation is required to meet market demand for future generations of optical transceivers.

Plasmonics in CMOS foundries: a new toolkit for PICs

Presented by Nikos Pleros, Associate Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Plasmonics has been researched for almost two decades confirming its extraordinary properties for a range of possible applications including sensors, high-bandwidth data communications and even ultra-low energy and footprint signal processing functions. However, turning plasmonics into a commercially attractive technology has to proceed over CMOS compatible metals and fabrication processes that can seamlessly and cost-effectively bridge plasmonics with CMOS photonic and electronic technologies to ensure volume manufacturing credentials. In this talk, we will present the recent progress in bringing plasmonics into CMOS foundries exploiting Aluminum as the plasmonic metal and highlighting a number of successful applications in high-sensitivity plasmo-photonic sensors and datacommunications accomplished within the H2020 project PlasmoFab, discussing also the perspectives for enabling powerful plasmo-photonic neuromorphic computing engines as is currently pursued within the H2020 project PlasmoNIAC.

Sensors and Systems for Next Generation 3D Imaging & LiDAR Applications

Presented by Wade Appelman, VP of Marketing and Business Development, ON Semiconductor

The acquisition of depth information via LiDAR sensing is a now a priority for global brands covering a broad range of use cases and this presentation will focus on the rapidly evolving technology developments. Each LiDAR use case has a different set of requirements but every system features the same key functional blocks. Perhaps the most critical of these functional blocks is the sensor, which often requires the capability to detect very low signal returns in the presence of a large amount of ambient light. In particular, we will look at how the single-photon sensitive SiPM and SPAD array photodetectors developed by ON Semiconductor can be used to push the performance boundaries for both long-range and high resolution 3D imaging. Both of these performance drivers have an impact on the system data management: Ranging to the most distant objects results in return signals at the single photon level and so a histogramming technique is used in conjunction with multiple laser cycles per measurement. There is a challenge if all the histogram data needs to be transferred to a central processor for analysis of the 3D scene due to the massive data rates that would be required. To overcome this, sophisticated analysis of the histogram needs to be performed local to the sensor so that a reduced data set of 3D point cloud information can be more easily communicated using protocols such as Ethernet. When considering the high resolution imaging requirements, even more careful consideration of the data management is required, and this will have an impact on the LiDAR architectures possible. ON Semiconductor is now developing a series of high resolution SPAD arrays, the first of which is the 400x100 pixel Pandion product which achieves high-resolution 3D imaging as part of the Pandion LiDAR Demo system. Future sensor and system developments will be discussed along with strategies for dealing with the data management challenges.

Silicon Photonics for automotive LIDAR applications

Presented by Robert Blum, Director of Strategic Marketing & Business Development, Intel

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is widely considered a necessity for fully automated self-driving automotive applications. LIDAR systems must incorporate either a large number of optical emitters or a means of steering the optical emission across the far field. Due to the density of optical components required, LIDAR is ripe for optical integration in order to achieve miniaturization and scalable manufacturability of this goal. This talk will give an overview of LIDAR system approaches and challenges, and discuss the suitability of silicon photonics to meet these challenges.

Silicon Photonics, beyond the tipping point!

Presented by Eric Mounier, Fellow Analyst, Yole Développement

GAFAMs are today the driving force behind the deployment of Si photonics technology. They are currently setting up networks of interconnected data centers with local data centers at the nodes of the mesh. As a consequence, Silicon photonics is putting a lot of pressure on other PIC platforms, such as InP (the most widespread) and it is likely that InP, and other PIC platform players, could embark on acquisitions in the future to bring this technology in-house. But beyond DCI, there are other possible applications for Si photonics. 5G is the next large-volume application with Intel and Sicoya already well positioned. Lidars, for autonomous cars, as well as medical sensors could also benefit from the possibilities of integration and cost reduction of Si photonics. The supply chain is maturing as well with more and more foundries and startups involved in Si photonics. My talk will review the market forecast, applications and future trends for Si photonics.

Presentation title to be confirmed

Presented by Twan Korthorst, Synopsys

Awaiting presentation abstract.

PIC Manufacturing − TAP, Co-Packaging & Fab
Panel Session

Does volume drive photonics integration?

Photonics touches our daily lives from our cell phones, TVs, illumination to optical communications. As applications and user requirement become more complex, there is a need for integration. The question remains what is the principle driver. Within each market segment there are different requirements in terms of speed, power, efficacy, size and cost. Is the mass production the key driver for increasing the functionality on a photonic chip, or is it the cost, or the application itself. In this panel session we will discuss the challenges faced in different market segments and whether there remain advantages in hybrid and discrete packaging or whether photonic integration is inevitable.

Bill Ring
Boudewijn Docter
EFFECT Photonics
Eric Mounier
Yole Développement
Jean-Louis Malinge
Peter De Dobbelaere
Robert Blum

CORNERSTONE – The scalable rapid prototyping platform

Presented by Graham Reed, Cornerstone, University of Southampton

As the market adoption of Silicon Photonics technologies continues to rise, and ever more fabless companies enter the market, there is a clear need for a flexible device prototyping foundry service that retains the ability for device level innovation, and also offers a clear path for volume scaling. Through the use of DUV projection lithography, with the option of high-resolution e-beam lithography, CORNERSTONE offers fabrication processes that can be easily transferred to other foundries for mass production, whilst also being able to mimic advanced technology nodes for high-resolution layers. This talk gives an overview of the CORNERSTONE platform.

Scaling up photonic integration: validating designs, chips and assemblies

Presented by Iñigo Artundo, VLC Photonics

Developing and marketing a product based on a photonic integrated circuit is still a challenging task. While the technology has greatly matured in the last decade, allowing to easily prototype PICs using different software tools, material platforms, foundry processes, multi-project wafers, etc. there are still many challenges when moving these prototypes into a commercial product. This presentation will discuss topics like variations and optimizations towards a design freeze, validated design re-use, standardization and automation on die and wafer level opto-electronic testing, and assembly qualification.

Si-Based Photonic platform at CEA – Leti

Presented by Sergio Nicoletti, Business Development Manager - Optical Sensing, CEA-Leti

Recently, we have seen a tremendous progress in the development of photonic-based sensors for many applications. Silicon photonics can provide inexpensive photonic chips due to excellent electronic and photonic properties for sensing, computing and communication. CEA - Leti versatile photonic platform offers a broad range of processes with up-to-date industrial equipment. More than silicon is provided, with the integration of amorphous Si, SiGe, Ge, SiN layers and III-V bonded epi layer on the same wafer covering from visible to Mid-IR. This talk will review the fabrication capabilities offered by our platform, which allows large-scale integration of active and passive devices in a flexible CMOS compatible process.

SiN goes thick enabling PIC applications

Presented by Michael Geiselmann, Co-founder and Managing Director, LIGENTEC

Silicon nitride photonic integrated circuits offer new possibilities for existing and emerging applications. Application such as Beamforming, Communication, Quantum, Microwave Photonics and Bio-sensing benefit from a transparency window from the visible to the Mid-Infrared, the ultra-low losses in those wavelength ranges and good power handling of cw and pulsed laser. LIGENTEC's fabrication process is based on the all-nitride-core technology and designed from the bottom up for photonics and modularity. In the all-nitride-core, most of the optical mode energy is in the waveguide material, which reduces loss and makes small bending radii possible. Latest developments on further integration of active elements and modules are presented.

Silicon nitride based TriPleX™ modules with hybrid PIC integration

Presented by Arne Leinse, CEO, LioniX International

The silicon nitride waveguide platform TriPleX™ excels in low loss Photonic Integrated Circuits. Combining it, via hybrid integration, with other active PIC platforms enables new applications in a broad wavelength range. The presentation will show the latest developments in the nitride platform and examples of these hybrid modules in different application domains. These range from bio-photonic sensing to microwave photonics for 5G. High power ultra-narrow linewidth lasers will be an essential building block in this and in addition the multi project wafer access to the technology for the different wavelength ranges is presented.

Spectral characterization: challenges, solutions and the future of PIC optical testing

Presented by François Couny, Product Line Manager, EXFO

Photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design and fabrication have now gained “ready-for-production” status, and the only obstacle to unleashing their true potential lies with efficient testing. As a leading developer of T&M equipment, EXFO has long been committed to providing superior tools for spectral characterization of photonic integrated circuits designed for the telecom wavelength range. This presentation will cover the challenges of testing these components directly on the wafer, EXFO’s range of spectral test solutions—which provide both fast and reliable results—and ways to future proof PIC testing solutions.

PIC Technology − Solutions, Analysis & Research

Additive microfabrication for optical packaging

Presented by Jochen Zimmer, Sales Manager, Nanoscribe

Two-photon-polymerization can be used for the direct printing of complex micro- and mesoscale 3D parts. These parts can be transparent, have optical-quality surfaces, and be printed on pre-structured surfaces. We will present recent results from internal and publicly funded projects that apply this technology to facilitate optical packaging.

Coherent vs. Direct-Detection: Market Forces Shaping PIC Technology Beyond 400 G

Presented by Vipul Bhatt, Sr. Director Strategic Marketing, Datacom, II-VI Incorporated, II-VI

Direct-detection links have historically been more cost-effective over coherent links below a bandwidth-distance product of 6000 Gbps-km. To ensure continued adoption and success in both coherent and direct-detection links, PIC technology needs to align with traditional market models such as pay-as-you-grow. New applications such as high-radix switches will shape PIC configuration choices of density and degree of parallelism. We will review emerging sub-segments such as optical tiles, remote laser sources, and fiber interconnect hardware. We will examine the potential future co-existence of pluggable optical modules with co-packaged optics.

Coping with the diversity of technologies and applications in CAD environments

Presented by André Richter, General Manager, VPIphotonics

Versatile design tools for integrated photonics and optoelectronics need to support a diversity of technologies addressing very different types of applications. This imposes stringent requirements on software environments, especially on circuit simulators emulating the characteristics of the components to be developed. We present an easily extensible simulation platform that allows in particular to integrate third-party tool capabilities and lab characterization information into a seamless simulation workflow. We illustrate its value for nonlinear photonics and quantum communication applications, the virtual testing of photonic chip characteristics, and the electrical and optical codesign of component and system solutions.

Cost-effective high-power laser-on-silicon technology for LiDAR applications

Presented by Dongjae Shin, Principal Researcher, Samsung

The full-scale commercialization of silicon-photonic integrated circuits(S-PICs) demands killer applications where the silicon-based manufacturability is critical as in traditional IC markets. Given the size of the huge autonomous driving market, it is noteworthy that the light detection and ranging(LiDAR) may drive large-scale commercialization of the S-PICs. This presentation addresses cost-effective high-power laser-on-silicon technology, which is well suited for S-PIC-based LiDARs. The laser-on-silicon technology adopts a bulk silicon substrate which is cheaper and has better heat dissipation, thereby improving optical output powers from multiple lasers integrated in a single process.

Design, modeling and simulation for the imperfections of real life

Presented by James Pond, CTO, Lumerical

As PIC technology matures, it is essential to accurately simulate imperfect components, circuits and systems to account for the vagaries of volume manufacturing. We show how to increase yields by designing robust - yet high performance - components using inverse design methods. We also show state of the art photonic circuit and system design flows that enable statistical analysis to rapidly identify and solve the root issues impacting manufacturing yield. We show how these methods can be applied in PIC applications from datacoms and sensing to quantum information technologies.

Innovations in fiber to chip connectivity

Presented by Scott Bickham, Corning Optical Communications

Fiber optic connectivity remains one of the main challenges for photonic integrated circuits. Emerging applications in the datacenter and in optical communication networks are drivers for new requirements of connectivity solutions that need fundamental innovations on the fiber and connector side. We will present recent advancements in fiber development optimized for PIC interconnects as well as emerging optical connectors.

OptiSPICE Plugin: A SPICE Native Optical Model Library for Opto-Electronic Design Automation

Presented by Cem Bonfil, Product Manager, Optoelectronics, Optiwave

To be confirmed

Photonics Then & Now; Why Now But Not Then?

Presented by David Banas, Chief Architecht, Luminous Computing

After 30 years of R&D, photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are finally ready to serve the general consumer marketplace. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will provide the first entry vector, for 3 reasons: 1. Power Consumption - The extreme market pressure to move AI to the network edge places serious demands on the power efficiency of computational hardware. Thanks to fundamental physical differences, as well as certain power amortization characteristics, photonic computing engines have an inherent 1,000x advantage over their electronic counterparts. 2. Fault Tolerance - Current generation photonic computing architectures use low precision analog techniques for performing matrix-vector multiplication, which limits their general applicability. However, they are a perfect fit for AI algorithms, which are not only tolerant of computational errors, but often introduce them purposefully, for increased robustness. 3. Computational Requirements - The raw computational horsepower needed to support near-term future AI needs is immense. And photonics alone is equipped to fulfill those needs at an acceptable rate of power consumption.

PIC ROI − Quality Metrics & Scalability

Assessing the long-term growth and market potential for PICs in datacom, transport and networks

Presented by Eric Higham, Principal Market Analyst, Strategy Analytics

The optical market is in the midst of a period of strong growth, driven by an explosion of data traffic and the emergence of a new set of companies with data-centric business models. This presentation will explore drivers and opportunities for growth in the datacom, transport, network and the emerging 5G wireless markets, along with the future trends for these applications. It will also address the advantages and disadvantages of PIC devices, their most likely applications and the use of compound semiconductor technologies in PICs, as well as in the broader optical market.

Future and economics of PICs and PLCs in PON systems for data centre and mobile backhaul applications

Presented by Henk Bulthuis, R&D director, Broadex Technologies

In this talk we will look into the specific requirements for passive chips for mux and demux functions in CWDM 400Gb datacenter application, DWDM Datacenter interconnects and 5G backhaul and fronthaul applications. New products that emerge for these new application areas are ultra wide band AWGs and low loss AWGs. Design and fabrication challenges will be discussed.

Invest in your design flow

Presented by Martin Fiers, Product Manager and co-founder, Luceda Photonics

How is photonics design automation (PDA) adapting to the needs of the maturing market of integrated photonics? In this presentation we illustrate which pitfalls to avoid when setting up a design flow, and how modern PDA is gradually adopting to those needs. We advocate that it’s crucial to invest in proper library management and design automation, to speed up time to market, speed up consecutive runs, and make less mistakes in general. And as an overall result, this reduces time to market and allows your team to get a competitive advantage.

Presentation title to be confirmed

Presented by Luc Augustin, CTO, Smart Photonics

Awaiting presentation abstract.

PICs Vision − Evolution and Revolution

AIM's role in developing next-gen PICs and TAP manufacturing expertise

Presented by Frank Tolic, AIM Photonics

Awaiting presentation abstract.

Elenion Technologies - Presentation Title TBC

Presented by Michael Hochberg, Chief Technology Officer, Elenion Technologies

Awaiting presentation abstract.

InP PICs and their future network & market applications

Presented by Mehrdad Ziari, VP, Infinera

PICs play a key role in enabling high bandwidth communication networks. This talk will present the role of InP PIC technology along with co-developed digital-signal-processing and driver ASICs in a vertically integrated approach towards delivering the best-in-class optical networking solutions. The rich set of integrated functionalities combined with design tools, process design kits and manufacturing capabilities are well suited to service a wide variety of applications

Increasing power efficiency with Electro-optic (EO) Polymers

Presented by Michael Lebby, CEO, Lightwave Logic Inc

There is a triple demand for increased power efficiency. Firstly, today’s applications are demanding lower power consumption. Secondly, as speeds increase, power consumption tends to increase, so more efficiency is needed to stay even. Thirdly, photonics integration is both an answer and a challenge for power: Integration as an answer minimizes the excess power needed for interconnection between functions which is very important, however, the challenge is that the greater thermal density that results from integration can be an additional reason power needs to be mitigated. Electro-optic polymers offer power efficiency due to their high electro-optic coefficients which lead to low voltage requirements for very high speed performance.

Integrated photonics for neuromorphic computing

Presented by Bert Offrein, Principal Research Staff Member, IBM

The performance increase of established Von Neumann computing systems has been defined by the scaling of silicon chip technology according to Moore’s law as well as advances in assembly and system integration concepts. While these scaling paths run into technological and commercial challenges, these types of systems are not well suited to process the enormous amounts of unstructured data generated nowadays. Analog synaptic signal processing holds the promise for massive performance and power-efficiency enhancements in neuromorphic computing. Memristive and photonic concepts and technologies will be presented.

Opportunities for Open Access PIC platforms in quantum technology

Presented by Martijn Heck, ePIXfab – European Silicon Photonics Alliance

With quantum-based encryption nearing commercialization, and quantum computing being actively investigated, with very promising progress, the potential role that photonics plays in this Second Quantum Revolution becomes increasingly clear. And it is a large role! It is also evident that photonic integration is the path forward here, not only for volume-scaling, but most notably as the key enabler: only PICs can credibly offer the required stability and the unprecedented need for low-loss operation. However, to go forward and make this a reality, we need to leverage investments in Open Access PIC platforms.

Optical transceiver manufacturing in the electronics ecosystem – lessons learned and the road ahead

Presented by Ted Schmidt, Juniper Networks

To meet the needs of the networking industry, optical transceiver manufacturing needs to be capable of scaling in both cost and performance. To address this challenge, Juniper Networks’ silicon photonics targets manufacturing optical transceivers in the electronics ecosystem, leveraging design, wafer manufacturing, packaging, and test infrastructure and methodologies from the ecosystem. The ability to incorporate all optical components within a single, common silicon die is a key enabler of the approach, fundamentally changing and simplifying how an optical transceiver can be assembled and tested. We will review lessons learned to date and provide a preview of the road ahead.