Sandia Partnership Spurs Model for Photonics Foundry, Attracts Industry Partners
A partnership with Sandia National Labs is a model for developing a US-based silicon photonics foundry, using Sandia process steps and building blocks developed at the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Arizona.
The partnership enabled CIAN to attract new industrial partners, Lumerical and Chiral Photonics, that want to be involved with the new CIAN-developed chips. Once CIAN’s building blocks are incorporated into software from Lumerical, more than 100 companies will have access to Sandia’s process steps to simulate the performance of new devices.
Lumerical is a photonics software company based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Software from both Lumerical and fellow CIAN Industrial Advisory Board member VPIPhotonics is used in TOAN and photonics device testbeds as well as in multiple classes at partner universities to train students in photonics circuit design and simulations.
Chiral Photonics, based in Pine Brook, NJ, develops interfaces and packaging for photonic devices. Chiral Photonic’s current project is to fabricate high-density fiber connectors that can be attached to an optical switch developed by CIAN researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Already, Lumerical is working with CIAN researchers to develop the next generation of modeling and simulation software, and Chiral is working to package earlier CIAN chips and optimize the second-generation design.
This ecosystem also extends internationally. CIAN is building a partnership with the IPIC in Ireland, a multi-university industry research center focused on integrated photonics that includes a state-of-the-art packaging research facility.