Addressing the high cost of photonic test and assembly through technology and partnerships

Since the first laser diodes and single-mode optical fibers of the early 1990s, the high cost and labor-intensiveness of testing and assembling photonic components have impacted production economics and impeded scaling. With the advent of Silicon Photonics and today’s complex, multi-channel devices, and anticipating adoption of photonics into major new applications fields outside the data center, the newest approaches to improving manufacturing efficiency and yield are seeing high demand.

These range from technical innovations such as parallel alignment processes that perform multi-channel/multi-degree-of-freedom optimizations with extraordinary speed and yield, to novel approaches for leveraging diverse industry players in teams whose expertise exceeds the sum of their parts. In this presentation, we review both aspects of the new solutions playing-field for moving Photonics forward.

A presentation by Scott Jordan, Head of Photonics at Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG.


Question 1: What drives you?
There is always a better way! Finding that path, moving the needle, combining innovations from across fields, building a sum greater than the parts– these are the challenges that keep photonics exciting for me.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
There are novel techniques that can have a profound impact on production economics for photonics, yet they are not always familiar or well-known. In addition, the industry is moving into a phase of collaboration, with task-focused teams forming to focus on solutions. We will discuss both of these dynamics, as they are interrelated.

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
For the industry, the evolution of Silicon Photonics out of the data center and into consumer applications is suddenly here, and it will place even more emphasis on innovations in manufacturing and test for scalability and cost control.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Photonics must follow the rapid downward glide-path of costs we have seen in so many other technical fields, from laser printers to genomics. This can only happen if scalable, fast techniques are adopted. Fortunately, the necessary elements are ready and proven.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The breakthroughs in cost and yield improvement we will discuss in this session, and the partnership approaches that are emerging, eliminate a host of obstacles currently facing photonics manufacturers. I see no barriers beyond getting the word out.

About Scott Jordan
High-tech business development, rainmaking, turnaround, troubleshooting, innovation management, strategic marketing and positioning.
Moonshots and uphill climbs a specialty.
Elevator pitch: “I’m the guy who hits the ball out of the sand-trap.” Blank sheets are fine, but I like turning the rumpled, wadded-up, singed and bloodstained ones into something valuable too.

Experience: Market-driven strategic business development and turnarounds. Executive experience in instrumentation, motion control, software, photonics/SiP (silicon photonics), process-automation and nanotechnology. Track record of profitable growth, turnaround, market leadership and partnership negotiation and development. A technical contributor as well, with multiple patents issued and pending, including key enabling photonics manufacturing, metrology and micro-robotic intelligence technologies.

About Physik Instrumente
Global manufacturer of fab-class nano-precision positioning equipment and micro-robotics for semiconductor manufacturing and photonic test and assembly.

Scott Jordan is speaker at the 2021 edition of the Photonic Integration Conference.

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