The ecosystem for Photonic ICs

Based on the roadmap of JePPIX: Successful introduction of a novel technology requires a close interaction between the users and the providers of that novel technology.

JePPIX has been extremely successful in bringing together the key players in the field of photonic integration. The eco-system is depicted in the figure.

The largest group, both in number and market volume, is formed by companies using Photonic ICs in improved or novel products. Many of them are SMEs without the expertise to design a chip themselves.

The second group are PIC designers and software vendors. PIC designers form the bridge between the users and the foundries by translating the functional requirements of the users into a PIC design that can be produced in the foundry. The software vendors develop and provide the necessary tools to simulate the circuits and create the required mask layouts. The work that is done on the development of mature design kits to bridge the gap between the foundry and the designer plays an especially important role in the evolution of the JePPIX eco-system.

The third group are the enablers for this market, the generic foundries that provide cost-effective access to their high-performance technology, and the companies providing low-cost packaging and testing for the chips.

A fourth key group are the providers of R&D in all three sectors. This R&D drives a dynamic similar to Moore’s law in electronics by developing new generations of foundry technology and new equipment with ever increasing performance, increasingly powerful design software, component and sub-circuit libraries, and by developing advanced Application Specific Photonic ICs (ASPICs) for novel or improved user applications.

The business cases for the different groups are very different, we will discuss them below.

  • The business case for PIC users
  • The business case for PIC designers and software vendors
  • The business case for PIC foundries
  • The business case for JePPIX

More about the JePPIX roadmap.

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