Two days, five themes, over 30 inspiring presentations

The presentations will be grouped into five key themes which collectively provide complete coverage of the integrated photonics industry.

The PIC International team are currently in the process of securing the leading industry insiders to present at PIC International 2018.

If you are interested in speaking at PIC International 2018, please contact or call +44 (0)24 76718970.

2017 Conference Abstracts

 Conference Chair

Michael Lebby, Chair in Optoelectronics at Glyndŵr University, Board Director at Lightwave Logic Inc

Presently, Michael Lebby is driving new frontiers in the integrated photonics field as Board Director for Lightwave Logic, an integrated polymer photonics company in Colorado.  Dr Lebby is also part-time CEO of OneChip Photonics,  part-time chair of optoelectronics at Glyndwr University in Wales, UK as well as director of corporate relations at USC in Los Angeles.   In 2015, Michael has been focusing on InP based photonic integrated circuits (PICs), polymer modulators, and optoelectronic integrated circuits (OEICs) for the datacenter segment and has been involved in assembling California's proposal (via USC) to the Federal Government for an integrated photonics manufacturing institute. Michael helped achieve >$400M in matching funding and also synthesized the proposal's datacenter and integrated photonics roadmaps for the next decade.  In 2016, Michael will be helping Lightwave Logic drive their new polymer photonics PIC platform towards datacenter and telecom opportunities.

 Conference Programme Manager

James Tyrrell, Conference Programme Manager

James is the Editor of PIC International magazine and Conference Programme Manager for PIC International. He is a science and technology writer with more than 10 years of experience in covering research breakthroughs, emerging applications and their impact on the market. Previously, James has held editorial positions on a number of industry publications, including titles focusing on photonics, nanotechology and the commercialization of advanced materials. Before hanging up his lab coat for a career in journalism, he worked as a medical device engineer in the UK, measured the properties of nanobubbles in Australia, and built equipment in Germany that used part of a digital watch to look for faults in computer chips.

 Leveraging PICs in long-haul and metro networks


An in-depth look at the deployment of PIC technology in long haul networks and a perspective on future applications

Eric Loos - Belgacom ICS, co-presenting with Geoff Bennett - Infinera

For more than a decade PIC technology has been widely deployed in long haul and subsea transport networks. In particular, Indium Phosphide-based monolithic designs have proven themselves in both direct detection and coherent detection applications. This presentation explores the properties of InP that make it highly suited to these applications, and shows how service providers are taking advantage of the capabilities of large scale (ie. multi-wavelength) integration to address the ongoing challenges of operational scalability, fast service response, and cashflow efficiency. Geoff Bennett of Infinera will present the technical details, while Eric Loos of BICS will explain how a service provider uses these capabilities.


The impact of integrated photonics on the optical communications market

Vladimir G. Kozlov - LightCounting Market Research

The potential impact of photonic integration on the optical communications market has captivated the imagination of the industry for the last two decades. Recent successes of vendors developing integrated products using Silicon photonics (SiP) accelerated progress in more mature Indium Phosphide (InP) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technologies. All these technologies are well positioned to capture a share of the optical communications market in the next five years. LightCounting projects that sales of integrated photonics will account for 50% of the total market for optical components and modules in 2021.

Large scale coherent PICs in optical networks

Mehrdad Ziari - Infinera

How has the development, manufacturing and deployment of InP PICs in long-haul, metro and data centre networks evolved over the past decade? To illustrate the technical journey in more detail, we highlight the scaling of chip capacity from 100 Gb/s in our first generation of devices to 4.9 Tb/s in our latest fully-tunable PICs operating at 16-QAM and 44 Gbaud.

Strategies for photonic integration for metro and long-haul networks

Martin Guy - Ciena Corporation

In this presentation, we will review the benefits of an InP and Silicon Photonics wafer fabless manufacturing model for metro and long-haul optical communication applications. Today’s commercial systems operate at 400 Gb/s on a single wavelength and future networks will necessitate even higher per-wavelength throughput. Such developments will place very stringent requirements on transmit and receive optical functions. What's more, these requirements on performance, as well as other targets such as size and cost, can only be fulfilled with the right strategies regarding i) the choice of the optical material platform, ii) the photonic packaging technologies employed, and iii) the very close design relationship between electronic and photonic functions.

Putting silicon photonics to work on metro and long haul applications

Tom Williams - Acacia Communications

Silicon photonics have proven to be well suited to coherent optical networking applications. Coherent optics require many individual optical functions to generate and decode complex modulation formats. Silicon photonics offers the ability to achieve a high level of optical integration with high process yield. This presentation will review i) the properties that have made silicon photonics successful in coherent applications and ii) how those benefits can be exploited in next generation systems.

PIC-enabled telecommunications and data centre interconnects: state of the art and future prospects

Michael Wale - Oclaro

Optical transmission systems increasingly employ advanced modulation formats, offering superior performance, resilience and spectral efficiency, in order to achieve transmission speeds of 100 Gbit/s and above.  The practical realization of such links depends upon photonic integrated circuit technology, in which multiple functions are integrated in a single optical circuit.  In this talk we review the InP-based PIC developments which have enabled the release of volume products such as the analog coherent CFP2 module, operating at 100 and 200 Gbit/s, and examine the prospects for future developments in both telecom and data centre interconnect applications.

 Supporting data centre growth


Opportunities for data centre optical interconnects

Richard Pitwon - Seagate Technology

The generation of digital information globally and corresponding demand for data storage continues to increase exponentially. This is coupled by the increasing need to process and store data remotely on the Cloud in data centre environments, which need to increase in scale, number and complexity to accommodate the demand. This talk will provide an introduction to Seagate Systems collaborative research and development activities to address the viability of commercial deployment of photonic interconnect in large scale data centre environments including at the system, board and ultimately chip level. In particular we will consider the factors affecting the entry level of PIC interconnect into the high volume, lower level equipment tiers of the future data centres compared to traditional commodity optical transceiver interconnect.

Scalable integration concepts to drive down the cost of data centre photonics

Bert Jan Offrein - IBM

The bandwidth explosion in datacentres demands new interconnect technologies at all levels of the system. Optical interconnects already play an important role but continue to suffer from relatively high cost caused by the hybrid assembly of discrete elements and the handling of critical optical interfaces. Electro-optical integration at chip- and system-level provides a path to overcome these challenges. In the presentation, advanced chip-level integration technology will be discussed in which (Bi)CMOS electronics is monolithically combined with silicon photonic and Indium-Phosphide structures. Furthermore, an efficient and broadband fibre-to-chip coupling method will be presented for large channel count and high bandwidth system-level optical interconnects.

Silicon photonics and the future of optical connectivity in the data centre

Robert Blum - Intel Corporation

The bandwidth challenges inside the data centre and between data centres has many of the largest cloud service providers exploring new innovations in networking and optical connectivity. Silicon photonics is one such innovation area, enabling very high bandwidth with significant density and cost advantages, and is a key enabler for driving optics closer and closer to the server and switch silicon. In this talk we'll review the recent advances in silicon photonics, discuss where silicon photonics is deployed in the data centre of today, and how it will be transforming the data centre of the future.

InP as a platform for photonic integration

James Regan - EFFECT Photonics

EFFECT Photonics takes a platform approach to integration using high-yielding building blocks within the wafer. Growing different quaternary alloys of InP (Indium Phosphide)on a single wafer means that all of the active and passive optical functions of a system can be created within a single chip, which is then combined with simple packaging, designed for high-volume, low-cost manufacture from the very start. InP is the proven material of choice for creating efficient and high performance laser light sources, waveguides, modulators, and photodiodes used in optical communication systems throughout the world. Now with monolithic integration and low-cost packaging it is able to bring high performance DWDM solutions to emerging cost sensitive datacentre applications.

Perspectives on hybrid integration as a rapid and flexible route to upgrading today's datacentres

Henk Bulthuis - Kaiam Corporation

Datacentre technology needs are characterized by rapid progress which challenges the supporting ecosystem to define, develop and provide new products at high volume within a short time-frame. Adding to the challenge, the largest datacentre operators have different workloads which result in different network optimizations. Hybrid integration allows the rapid adoption of new components as they emerge, without waiting for tight coordination between different components’ roadmaps. A hybrid integration platform has the flexibility to be a common manufacturing base to support the diverse products optimized for each datacentre architecture.

Silicon photonics for inter-data centre interconnects

Jörg-Peter Elbers - ADVA Optical Networking

Inter-data centre interconnects extend a data centre fabric over multiple locations allowing a geographic distribution of networking, compute and storage functions. Employing dense wavelength division multiplexing, they offer multi-Tb/s fibre capacities over distances ranging from a few tens to a few hundred kilometres.

In this talk, silicon photonics based inter-data centre interconnect solutions employing intensity modulation with direct detection and coherent transmission will be presented. Topics on the agenda include next-generation approaches to achieve higher capacities, better equipment density, and lower cost. The discussion will also highlight related research activity together with developments in the area of standardisation.


 PIC Platforms


Ion implantation of Ge into silicon to form photonics devices

Graham Reed - University of Southampton

In recent years we have presented results on gratings that are formed by amorphising selected areas of silicon by utilising ion implantation of germanium. Similar technology can be employed to develop alternative testing strategies based on different device designs, as well as for trimming of integrated photonic components. In this presentation we discuss a series of devices that can be fabricated using ion implantation of Germanium (or indeed, other ions) into silicon. We present preliminary data for novel devices utilising this technology.

Closing the gap – High-precision 3D printing speeds up

Ruth Houbertz - Multiphoton Optics

The amount of data is continuously increasing, driven by big data, IoT, and Industry 4.0. Reducing power consumption in data processing is impacting all data processing systems in a vast majority of products. High precision 3D (HP3D) printing is a powerful tool for prototyping miniaturized designs using automated, scalable processes to create low-cost connectivity, with additive and subtractive fabrication integrated into 2D process work flows.

Silicon photonics as a pic platform for next generation datacentre architectures

Zhihong Huang - Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Silicon photonics is a promising solution to provide large-scale integrated photonics for data centres. In this presentation, I will discuss work at Hewlett Packard Labs towards building low-energy, low-cost, highly adaptive optical interconnects using a silicon-based integrated photonic platform. I will also show our recent research progress on each of the key building blocks and integrated optical transceiver links.

Silicon photonics beyond transceivers

Roel Baets - Ghent University

Over the past years silicon photonics has become a game-changing technology for high speed transceiver products in telecommunication and datacommunication. But the application of the technology in sensing and life science may have an even larger impact in the future. In this talk the potential as well as the challenges of silicon photonics in life science applications will be addressed and illustrated with various examples.

Thick-SOI for PICs and I/O coupling

Timo Aalto - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

By using "Thick-SOI" technology it is possible to realise silicon photonic PICs that offer a simultaneous combination of extremely dense integration, single-mode operation, low losses, polarization independent operation and tolerance to high optical powers. In addition to advanced PICs on 3 µm SOI we present 12 µm SOI interposers that support ultra-broadband and low-loss coupling to small-waveguide PICs. This presentation covers the technology, applications and business opportunities of VTT's "Thick-SOI" platform. It reaches from datacom to sensing, and it shows rapid scalability to volume production.

CMOS compatible plasmo-photonics for mass-manufactured, powerful PICs

Dimitris Tsiokos - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Over the last decade, silicon photonics have attracted momentous efforts as the means to address constantly increasing market demands in low-cost PICs for a broad range of ICT applications. Despite the remarkable progress in this field, further miniaturization of PICs is bounded by the inherent diffraction limit of light imposed by optical waveguides. Surface-Plasmon-Polaritons (SPP) have the capacity to overcome this hurdle by guiding light at sub-wavelength scale providing unique light-matter interaction properties in nm-scale dimensions. The latest progress on the integration of SPP waveguides on Si and Si3N4 photonic platforms will be discussed showing how this new PIC technology can be practically exploited, changing the landscape in CMOS, datacom and biomedical industries.

Applications for thick film silicon nitride integrated circuits

Michael Geiselmann - LIGENTEC

Silicon nitride is one promising material for photonic integration due to its large bandgap from the visible to the mid-infrared spectrum and its possible applications in nonlinear photonics due to its large nonlinear refractive index. Especially thick silicon nitride films enable good confinement waveguides that have low bending losses and excel in high power applications even in the mid-infrared. In this presentation I will review nonlinear high power applications enabled by thick film silicon nitride PICs.

TriPleX™: The low loss industrial silicon nitride waveguide platform. Applications from VIS to IR.

Arne Leinse - LioniX International

The silicon nitride based waveguide technology (TriPleX™) of LioniX International is unique due to its low loss over a large wavelength range (from 405 nm to 2350 nm) and spot size converters with full control of the waveguide mode field dimensions. The industrial PIC platform is easy to access for users via Multi Project Wafer (MPW) runs covering wavelength ranges in the VIS and IR. This easy access of a mature industrial platform assures a seamless route from prototype to volume production. In this presentation the status and newest developments of the technology and application examples for different wavelengths will be shown.

Is Plastic Fantastic? Learnings from Polymer Hybrid and InP monolithic Integration

Martin Schell - Fraunhofer HHI

Polymer Hybrid and InP monolithic Integration have their pro and cons. HHI has experience with these and other integration platforms with applications covering data transmission, sensing, and terahertz generation. Based on our experience and results from our project partners we provide guidelines for identifying the best material platform and integration approach for new applications.

 New markets: sensing, medical


SiN biophotonic IC’s for life sciences - a trillion dollar opportunity?

Liesbet Lagae - imec

The healthcare sector is going through drastic changes with enormous pressure on cost reduction and is looking for a new generation of cost-effective diagnostic instruments to make better therapeutic decisions. IMEC has laid out a visible, CMOS compatible PIC Technology to replace expensive and bulky instrument and a few life science cases will be highlighted. However, the ecosystem is young, and is still searching for solutions fit to the healthcare customer. In the European funded PIX4life project, we have aligned forces to fill the gaps in the ecosystem. PIX4life aims to mature a high performance, high yielding and CMOS-compatible SiN Photonic IC pilot line together with the accompanying supply chain for biophpotonic applications in the visible range (400-1000 nm). PIX4life will make the platform available in open access for a broader number of customers from the (bio-)photonic and life science communities with industrial development in mind.

Extreme fibre sensing: PIC opportunities beyond datacoms and telecoms

Pim Kat - Technobis group

Fibre optic sensing is receiving an increasing amount of interest and momentum across a wide variety of applications and markets, including deployment in demanding environments and uses where the advantage of a small footprint multi-sensing platform is evident. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) appear to be the answer to meeting the stringent requirements involved with such versatile applications. And to further support this technology platform, spectrometers for Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) interrogators, and interferometers for sub-nanometer displacement sensing are being developed and commercialised. These address specific needs and reliability levels required for extreme fiber sensing in markets such as aerospace, medical and in other high-tech industries.

PICs: The Final Frontier

Iain McKenzie - European Space Agency

The European Space Agency has for several years been investigating how to exploit the mass, volume and cost reduction potential available through chip scale microphotonic integration.
In this presentation the application of integrated photonics to space applications will be explored through several specific examples. Some of the challenges of qualifying this technology for the space environment will also be addressed.

Why European Photonics is undervalued and a fast-track plan of how to change it

Ewit Roos - PhotonDelta

In March we’ll be reporting the progress on three important activities we have initiated. We'll explain why there is a need for a professional cooperative and how we’re extending several active international networks to include manufacturers, integrators, investors and end users. We’re convinced a collaborative approach is the path to ensure European photonics quickly gets 10-20 times the funding we see today. We also believe that a series of deep-dive strategy conferences are needed to develop long-term roadmaps. We need to kick-start international discussions about the optical technologies needed for global society two decades. And we’re examining ways in which PhotonDelta can play a role in helping companies accelerate in the very important packaging and reliability-engineering phases of development.

 Optimising PIC design, manufacturing and packaging - Sponsored By

Overcoming packaging hurdles for PIC devices

Peter O'Brien - Tyndall National Institute

This talk will give an overview of PIXAPP, the new European PIC Packaging Pilot Line. PIXAPP overcomes the technical and economic challenges of packaging PIC chips, by combining Europe’s leading industry and research institutes into a single supply chain that establishes the first open access PIC packaging Pilot manufacturing line. The presentation will give an overview of the standard packaging technologies available in PIXAPP, and how users can access the Pilot Line through a single easy access point-of-contact.

Realizing gains in energy efficiency, component cost and size-reduction through photonic integrated solutions

William Ring - POET Technologies

The integration of photonic and electrical functions in optical chips is necessary to address the future of communication links in computes, datacenters and the Internet. Advances in integration technology in different material platforms over the last 10 years have enabled reduced cost, higher functionality and smaller components. Poet Technologies is developing several integrated platforms within the company to enable reduced power consumption and integrated low cost components. An overview of the core technology and advantage for commercial product will be presented including recent advances in the development of its unique photonic integrated approaches to the datacenter market.  In addition, the company will present results on using dielectric waveguides to reduce the complexity of packaging and enable lower component cost and increased functionality.

Testing as part of the manufacturing chain: photonics wafers, singulated dies, and fully packaged devices

Ignazio Piacentini - ficonTEC Service GmbH

Automating the packaging of PICs and the need to lower the costs associated with these complex processes has been already identified and discussed and will have an impact on the design and performances of next generation assembly machines. Production volumes are on the increase and this has highlighted another need: optimising automated testing, differentiating between wafer level, singulated dies, and fully integrated devices.

PIC testing requires both electrical probing (limited to DC and low frequency signals, or extending to RF) and optical probing, with very different accuracy requirements. Optical probing presents different challenges whether is targeting top grating structures or edge coupling. The presentation will cover a full array of issues, from mechanical high accuracy positioning, to probing heads and modular optical instrumentation.

The design and processing of advanced transceiver integrated circuits

Peter de Dobbelaere - Luxtera

Key aspects of design and verification of silicon photonics based optical transceivers will be highlighted. Subsequently we will cover supply chain and manufacturing approaches enabled by silicon photonics technology. Finally some current high-volume applications will be addressed.

Advances in layout-aware schematic-driven design automation for integrated photonics and optoelectronics

André Richter - VPIphotonics

Enabling a fast and convenient workflow for designing integrated photonic and optoelectronic circuits requires design automation approaches supporting the seamless integration of circuit-level photonic and electronic simulators, as well as circuit simulators and layout design tools. Here, we demonstrate our advances in developing one of the most promising layout-aware schematic-driven design methodology by means of examples for various integrated photonics applications based on InP, silicon, silicon nitride, and polymer technologies. Further, we present practical integration scenarios of photonic and electronic design automation tools helping to increase the productivity of designers.

Providing mainstream design flow for PICs

Ian Dennison - Cadence Design Systems

Silicon photonics appears to be gaining ground as a platform for PICs. By re-using the manufacturing capabilities in place to serve the very large scale electronics market, PIC developers have the potential to leverage economies of scale and exploit close integration at the device level. Similarly, the very large investment in design tools and methodologies -- which have been made over the past 25+ years to take RF, analog design from a boutique state to a very reliable and predictable process -- could also benefit PIC development. In this talk, we will consider opportunities for re-using knowledge gained through the design automation of electronics and applying these lessons to PICs. Specifically, we will review the applicability of PDK, schematic driven layout, system simulation and LVS - while keeping a close eye on the fact that photonics is NOT electronics.

Research-centric to Product-centric

Twan Korthorst - PhoeniX Software

PhoeniX Software will give an invited talk about its successful start-up journey, which begins just after the bubble crashed and explores the company's contribution to industry standard PIC Design. In addition PhoeniX Software will share best practices that will give the audience an inside view on how PIC designers value our software tools and services. And then, looking at the next big step in the world of PIC design, we will highlight the firm's commitment to supporting the global ecosystem of integrated photonics.

Open source PIC design

Ronald Broeke - BRIGHT Photonics

We imagined the PIC design tool that would best support our commercial and research work. With a team of professional photonic designers we created Nazca. This talk explains why we open source Nazca and how you get started.

Lean PIC design for innovators: a reality check

Pieter Dumon - Luceda Photonics

The companies engaging in innovative integrated optics products need to leverage the diversity of integrated optics technologies, components and circuit designs.  
Nimble design teams have to be able to increasingly keep up with their customers and assure the quality of their PICs. At the same time, they need to handle design complexity while combining PDK-based design with very custom optimized design. Designers need to include their proprietary devices and algorithms to meet yield requirements. How can this be realized the lean way with minimal CAD management overload? Luceda and Mentor Graphics will demonstrate IPKISS.eda inside L-Edit. It enables intuitive, low-TCO, and comprehensive layout driven design and functional verification for PICs.  

Recent advances in industrial photonic alignment automation: An emerging enabler for test and packaging economics

Scott Jordan - Physik Instrumente

The economics of Silicon Photonics packaging and test has been dominated by alignment time.  Recent advances in parallel, multi-channel/multi-Degree-of-Freedom alignment offer radical improvements in process throughput, from wafer-test through final packaging.  In our presentation, we review the evolution of alignment automation over the past three decades, culminating with examples and data leveraging the latest nanoscale algorithms and technologies.

*All speakers and presentations are subject to change.

Book your place today - 3 events, 2 days, 1 ticket
The must attend conference for all professionals involved within the integrated photonics industry.