Imec offers integrated Silicon Photonics in a Multi-Project Wafer service

March 15, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
The Belgian semiconductor research organisation Imec has announced a fully-integrated silicon photonics platform that can be accessed via a cost-sharing Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) service at ePIXfab.

The platform enables cost-effective R&D of silicon photonic ICs for high-performance optical transceivers (25 Gbit/sec and beyond) and optical sensing and life science applications. Integrated components that can be fabricated include low-loss waveguides, efficient grating couplers, high-speed silicon electro-optic modulators and high-speed germanium waveguide photo-detectors.

Since 2007, imec and its associated laboratory at Ghent University have been offering a platform for passive silicon photonic components, also at ePIXfab, for R&D under shared cost conditions. With this announcement Imec is extending its silicon photonics offering, using a standard 130-nm CMOS toolset, with active components such as high-speed optical modulators and integrated germanium photo-detectors.

According to Philippe Absil, program director at Imec, “[This] Silicon Photonics platform provides robust performance and solutions to integrated photonics products in medical diagnostics, telecom and datacom industries. Companies can benefit from our silicon photonics capability through established standard cells, or explore the functionality of their own designs in MPW.

The first run opens for registration with tape-in on 9th of Oct 2013 and first devices will be out in May 2014. Support, registration and design kit access will be organized by Europractice IC service, in collaboration with world-wide MPW partners. More at

ePIXfab is the European Silicon Photonics Platform co-funded by the EU. ePIXfab is a consortium of partners coordinated by imec-UGent partnership. Other members of the consortium are CEA-LETI (France), IHP (Germany) TNO (Netherlands), Tyndall (Ireland), VTT (Finland) and CMC Microsystems (Canada); providing together diverse expertise from design to packaging thus supporting the emergence of a fabless ecosystem in Silicon Photonics. For more information, visit