Platform for KMU-access for rapid prototype development of photonic integrated circuits.

(Funded by Fraunhofer SME)

Duration: January 2020 – December 2022




PROTOPIC will enable instant and convenient measurement of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) by offering a test environment consisting of a photonic evaluation board and corresponding PIC assembly. Often, handling and characterization of PICs can turn out into a challenging task for users of any photonic foundry service. Eliminating this entry barrier is the major target of ProtoPIC and places the focus on the measurement side of PICs.

To accomplish the goal, HHI develops a generic, affordable and easy to handle photonic evaluation setup with multiple current and voltage sources, laser drivers and temperature controller. Communication to a PC is supported via Ethernet using a web interface. Optical and electrical interposer enable fiber attachment and connection from the PIC to the source board. The optical interposer makes use of HHI’s PolyBoard technology where optical fiber alignment to interposer waveguides is already achieved by clicking fibers into U-grooves. The polymer interposer then needs to be glued to the InP PIC. Wire-bonds from the electrical interposer, the so-called PIC Board, to the InP PIC overcome the need for mechanical DC probing by the user.

ProtoPIC will finally extend the advantages of photonic foundry services from pure wafer level to test and characterization level what opens the photonic market for a wider audience.

Figure 2: 3-dimensional model of the temperature controlled PIC assembly comprised of an electrical interposer board (PIC Board) on a copper sub mount, fixated on an aluminium block. An exemplary fiber coupled demonstrator PIC is directly mounted on the copper block.