The AIM Summer Academy, which runs from July 23 to 27 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is an annual one-week intensive program that introduces students, educators, and industry professionals to the science, technology, and tools necessary to manufacture photonic integrated circuits (PICs) using the methodology of semiconductor chip foundries. 

The April 2018 issue of IEEE Photonics Society News has two features on AIM Photonics.  The first is titled "AIM Photonics is Ready for High-Speed Optical Communications (50Gbps) with the New Silicon Photonics Process Design Kit" and the second is "Photonics Workforce Development Meet & Great at Photonics West 2018."

The drive to continue the scaling of commercial electronic systems at the current pace of a thousand-fold performance improvement every 10 years—with no increase in cost—has created a strong demand for the convergence of electronic and photonic systems. Massive buildouts of data centers, 5G communications (driven by the demands of the Internet of Things) and augmented reality (played out in 3-D and automotive applications) will lead this technology transition in the near term. Active optical cables are one successful example of a retrofit of photonics to electronic technology. Electronic circuits and systems, however, represent a very efficient and reliable incumbent technology that is increasingly difficult to replace by a simple retrofit.

More than 60 people gathered at MIT on Jan. 16 for three days of lectures and design labs on integrated photonics. The program was organized by AIM Photonics Academy, which is part of AIM Photonics Institute, one of 14 Manufacturing USA institutes jointly funded with the federal government to accelerate advanced manufacturing in the United States. Attendees, mostly from industry, came from the U.S. and abroad.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College have received a $4 million grant to start an integrated photonics laboratory together, college and state officials announced Thursday. The award, issued by the state through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative, will cover the purchase of high-tech equipment needed for the colleges’ joint programming in photonics – the emerging field of generating and harnessing light for use in technology.

WPI, in collaboration with Quinsigamond Community College, is in the process of developing an AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP). The lab will support the development of the integrated photonics manufacturing sector in Central Massachusetts. The university recently received $4 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to develop this center.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College announced Thursday they'll start a new photonics lab thanks to a $4-million Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative grant. The lab is expected to better help students at both schools and researchers in a scientific field making advancements in endoscopy and prosthetics, as well as in manufacturing.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College will use a $4 million state grant to open a joint photonics lab. The lab will support a burgeoning industry in the Northeast, according to a WPI release sent today. It will be called the AIM Photonics Academy Lab, and the funding was announced today by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. Photonics is the science of light generation, and it’s used in many of the advanced manufacturing facilities in the area.

IEEE Photonics Society News featured AIM Summer Academy on page 18 of its December 2017 newsletter.

AIM Photonics Academy, an initiative of the AIM Photonics Institute (a Manufacturing USA program dedicated to developing new high tech industries), launched its inaugural Summer Academy school on July 24–28, 2017 at MIT. AIM Summer Academy is a one-week intensive school that introduces participants to the fundamentals of integrated photonics, a maturing optics technology born of the prior century’s fiber optic communications revolution. Integrated photonics leverages the materials processing innovations of the semiconductor industry to create novel light-manipulating devices for applications in datacom, RF signal processing, sensing, and imaging.