Since 2007 JePPIX[1], has been brokering small-scale access to the Active-Passive integration process of the COBRA research institute of TU Eindhoven. The process supports integration of passive devices like couplers and arrayed waveguide grating multiplexers with active elements and represents the current state-of-the-art. However, the capability, reliability and performance of the experimental research platform, although excellent for proof-of-concept, are not adequate for the highly reproducible manufacturing required for commercial applications. The PARADIGM programme will establish the technology and methodologies needed for highly accurate and reproducible manufacturing of high-reliability circuits, also working towards platform-level qualification, a new concept in InP PIC manufacture.

The generic foundry approach will be brought to a new level of development on the road towards a first commercially available generic integration technology. It spans the complete development chain from research to manufacturing, and the complete process chain from concept to packaging and test, all the while maintaining focus on bringing the costs of InP PIC development down by at least an order of magnitude.

PARADIGM will significantly extend the current state-of-the-art by:

  • Introducing semi-insulating (SI) substrate technology for the transmitter platform, aiming at a comprehensive platform capability for a bandwidth of 40GHz.
  • Converging two existing InP technologies into compatible technology platforms, each with full transmit and receive capability.
  • Creating a transferable design environment, so that in time most applications could be manufactured in either one of the two different foundries.
  • Developing an epitaxial growth technology (SAG) which offers designers a free choice of the band edge of their Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs). This will enable the use of reversely biased SOAs as Electro-Absorption Modulators (EAMs)
  • Developing buried-hetero-type lasers with superior thermal and noise performance integrable with a flexible surface ridge-waveguide platform technology.
  • Developing a technology for new application areas operating in the long wavelength range 1.8 to 2.3┬Ám; important for sensor and medical applications.

PARADIGM will incorporate and improve existing design libraries going well beyond what is currently available; augmenting the design library with all of the new building blocks from the extended and converged platforms. In addition, PARADIGM will develop new, powerful library elements, containing parameterised design modules for composite building blocks such as AWGs, and a variety of lasers (FP, DBR), and examples of more complex circuit level elements such as fast pulse lasers.  To improve simulation accuracy, crosstalk in an optical circuit with RF drive will be studied using co-simulation within the physical layer.

As result of the project the chip cost price will drop sharply, so the impact of the packaging cost will become relatively high. PARADIGM addresses this through the development of novel Generic Packaging approaches, the development of algorithms and test setups for rapid testing and wafer validation for platform level qualification.

Finally, a new business model for InP PICs will be trialled.  Direct access will be provided to a selected group of users as the platforms develop, in order to validate the generic approach and grow the market. Spin out design expertise, including the training of designers and educating platform users are essential elements of this strategy.

[1] JePPIX: Joint European Platform for InP-based Photonic Integration of Components and Circuits (