Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap

Where are we headed? How do we get there?

Increasing development of the Internet as a means of communication, commerce, and content delivery has produced an accelerating US and world appetite for bandwidth. What are the barriers—technological and economic—to feeding this hunger? What must be done to overcome them?

Technology roadmapping is the process of creating a shared vision of the future. Roadmaps guide our progress toward that vision. The process requires a framework for understanding how technology, industry, and policy dynamics interact and how they could evolve in the future. The AIM Photonics Academy Photonic Systems Manufacturing Roadmap (PSMR) focuses on the future of enabling opto-electronic technologies for next generation systems.

Our method is 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 PSMR. Through our combined interactions, the roadmap will provide valuable insights and strategies for thriving in the rapidly-evolving 21st century economy. The AIM Photonics Academy (PSMR) incorporates an in-depth understanding of technology, along with the market dynamics and regulatory/policy issues that frame 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.

PSMR Technology Working Groups (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 provide expert testimony, and they contribute valuable information to the PSMR models and analysis.

An outstanding roadmap leadership team and oversight Executive Advisory Board will contribute 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 Technology Working Groups (TWGs). Every member of the core team of TWG leaders has more than fifteen years of experience in technology roadmapping. PSMR will provide technology development priorities for the long-term evolution of photonic component integration in the electronics-photonics industry.

Four coordinated Technology Working Groups (TWGs) and two Product Emulator Groups (PEGs) have been developing the PSMR. These groups are similar to existing International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) and MIT Microphotonics Center TWGs and PEGs, and they include many members of existing iNEMI-MIT groups, but their charters are more tightly focused.

The four TWGs are:

  • Assembly & Test
  • Packaging of Electronic Photonic Systems
  • Interconnect (Connectors, Cable Assemblies & Printed Circuits)
  • Monolithic Integration

The two PEGs are:

  • Data Center
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

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

A second critical activity of PSMR, 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 system and for the 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 PSMR 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 (<1km) reach 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 initiative.

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

Get Involved

Back to Top