OFC 2024: PhotonDelta launches roadmap to drive integrated photonics industry

More than 400 technology, academic and industrial organisations from around the world have contributed to a new integrated photonics roadmap led by foundation PhotonDelta and the Microphotonics Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Known as the “Integrated Photonics System Roadmap – International” (IPSR-I), the roadmap was officially launched during the Executive Forum at OFC in San Diego on March 25th.

The IPSR-I describes a route toward building a global, aligned integrated photonics industry with the ability to help solve major societal challenges. This is underpinned by a call to establish and sustain a trust based global network of industrial and R&D partners, who work together to create photonic integrated circuits (PICs) technology and systems requirements.

The partners state, “The integration of photonics with electronics is the key enabler for the creation of smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices. The integration has the potential to expand functionality and create a large number of new applications and is helping to unlock major advances in many areas including autonomous vehicles, data telecom and healthcare. Integrated photonics is also the technology that generates, processes, and detects light for sensing and communication applications.”

The IPSR-I describes the consensus from more than 400 experts from over 100 workshops and 13 conferences. It includes a comprehensive overview of major technology gaps for volume manufacturing of PICs and a detailed analysis of the challenges that the integrated photonics industry needs to overcome to achieve its potential. The second version of the roadmap, which was produced over the past three years, now includes insights into wireless communication and 3D-imaging.

‘Solving technological gaps’

Peter van Arkel, CTO of PhotonDelta, commented, “Getting all research and development resources of the integrated photonics industry and academia behind solving the technological gaps identified by the IPSR-I, will contribute to solving the large societal challenges in a spectacular manner. At the heart of the roadmap is a global approach for the integrated photonics industry to rally behind to meet core challenges.”

Lionel Kimerling, Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, said, “Electronic-photonic integration has the capacity to radically transform a whole host of industries and unlock a range of new technologies that will change our lives. The IPSR-I outlines a clear way forward and specifies an innovative learning curve for scaling performance and applications for the next 15 years.”