US Navy funds mercury’s photonic chiplet development

Mercury Systems entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy to develop manufacturing capabilities that would allow commercial photonic chiplets to accelerate edge processing in defense applications.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Trusted and Assured Microelectronics Program’s Project KANAGAWA aims to mature the domestic supply chain and manufacturing processes for multichip packages, where co-packaged optics are integrated with electronic integrated circuits to enable long-reach and high-bandwidth data transfer. The promise of this technology for defense systems has been well known for decades, but demonstrations have relied on expensive and custom approaches that are not compatible with high-volume production.

The $3.9 million, 17-month OTA (Other Transaction Agreement) with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division will allow Mercury to gain access to photonic devices developed for the commercial sector by Intel and Ayar Labs. Mercury plans to develop miniaturized and ruggedized packages using photonic chiplets for defense applications to allow edge sensor data to be ingested much faster, enabling faster decision-making in next-generation radar and electronic warfare systems.