IPSR Roadmap

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The Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap

Where are we headed with integrated photonics? How do we get there?

The expansive growth of the Internet as a means of communication, commerce, content storage and delivery has produced an accelerating US and global appetite for ultrahigh bandwidth. What are the barriers—technological and economic—to meeting this demand? What must be done to overcome them?

Technology roadmapping is the process of creating a shared industry vision for future product standards and fabrication methodologies. Roadmaps guide our progress toward that vision. The process requires a framework for understanding how technology, industry, and policy dynamically interact at present and how they may evolve in the future. The AIM Photonics Academy Integrated Photonic Systems Roadmap (IPSR) focuses on charting the most likely pathways to development of opto-electronic technologies for next generation systems and applications.

Our methods are interdisciplinary: we have assembled across the photonics and electronics industry a global team of experts from academia, industrial research and development, and the entire manufacturing supply chain to volunteer their time to develop the IPSR. Through our collective efforts, the roadmap provides valuable insights and strategies for thriving in a rapidly-evolving 21st century economy. The IPSR incorporates an in-depth understanding of the technology, market dynamics and regulatory/policy issues that create a context for this industry.

The roadmap relies on the Delphi methodology of obtaining technology needs from expert stakeholders. These stakeholders include experts from throughout the research development and manufacturing community. During the last 18 months, under NIST AMTech funding, more than 500 individuals have participated in the roadmapping process by either joining Technology Working Groups (TWGs) or attending Roadmapping Workshops.

IPSR TWGs bring together leading industry experts from across a broad range of disciplines contributing to the design, manufacture, and application of opto-electronic components. TWG members contribute expert testimony and valuable information to IPSR models and analysis.

An outstanding roadmap leadership team and oversight Executive Advisory Board contributes to this effort. All appointees are known by and networked with key leaders throughout the research, academic, manufacturing supply chain, and user communities. The leadership team includes all leaders of the TWGs, and every member of this core team has more than fifteen years of experience in technology roadmapping. IPSR will provide technology development priorities for the long-term evolution of photonic component integration in the electronics-photonics industry.

Nine coordinated TWGs and three Product Emulator Groups (PEGs) have been developing the IPSR. 

The nine TWGs are:

  • Integrated silicon photonics
  • Monolithic integration
  • Connectors
  • Photonic substrates
  • Assembly
  • Test
  • Electronic-photonic design automation
  • Photonic sensors
  • Workforce development and education

The three PEGs are:

  • Sensors
  • Automotive
  • RF photonics

IPSR is now in the process of establishing additional TWGs and PEGs to increase support of the AIM Photonics charter.

A second critical activity of IPSR, besides developing the roadmap, is building mutual trust and cooperation among the supply chain stakeholders to establish a common vision for high volume photonic system manufacturing and for technology gaps to be closed. We design the roadmapping process and associated workshops and seminars to facilitate building this trust, cooperation, and prioritized vision. This step is critical to the establishment of successful sustainable projects for AIM Photonics.

A third important activity for IPSR is the development of technology-based models for the cost, energy, and environmental implications of various component and architecture alternatives for the two emulators under consideration. The cost emulator is being developed by Dr. Randy Kirchain and Professor Elsa Olivetti of MIT; industry participants will provide the functional cost objectives. These predictive modeling tools provide us with a means for analyzing the many complex factors that shape this industry and the advancement of related technologies. Some student projects have addressed this economic issue.

Key Findings

The Roadmap projects the high level imperatives listed below:
•    Electronic-photonic convergence and short reach (<1km) interconnection will drive high-volume, low-cost technology. This direction will ignite a major shift in the leadership of the optical component industry from information transmission (telecom) to information processing (computing, sensing, imaging).
•    Education and training for the skill set required for this path does not exist at any single industrial or educational institution.
•    The AIM Photonics Academy mission should include creation of the necessary competence and vision for the platforms and standards on which this technology transition will be built.

How to Get Involved

We invite key organizations, including universities, research institutes interested in integrated photonics, SMEs, customers and the vertical supply chain to participate in this important, timely initiative.

The Integrated Photonic Systems Roadmap invites all previous participants in relevant iNEMI, ITRS, and MIT Microphotonics Technology Working Groups, as well as additional stakeholders to participate in this focused “integrated photonics” effort. Participation and attendance at all meetings of the IPSR are by invitation, but all stakeholders who are willing to devote time and effort to achieve the goals of the IPSR are encouraged to join us.

Find additional information on the IPSR web site.

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