A €30 million centre for photonic integration has been set up in Ireland. The centre brings together 100 researchers and is being led by the Tyndall National Institute working with University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology and Dublin City University.
The new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre will focus on developing photonic technologies covering telecom and datacom as well as medical devices. The centre will also work with 18 industry partners including multinationals, Irish small-to-medium enterprises and start-ups. One start-up, X-Celeprint, will base its headquarters in Tyndall.
X-Celeprint has a technology suited to heterogenous integration, for example bonding III-V material onto silicon wafers. The technique can be used to fabricate silicon photonics devices, creating such optical functions as a laser, modulator or detector alongside silicon functions using etching and photo-lithography.
X-Celeprint has a micro transfer printing approach that places thin “chiplets” onto silicon. “Think of printing as pick-and-place in a massively parallel fashion,” said Kyle Benkendorfer, CEO of X-Celeprint. “Instead of ink, we are picking up and printing arrays of high-performance semiconductors.”
The start-up is looking to work with silicon photonics companies interested in licensing its printing technology. The technique brings cost savings by avoiding wasting expensive compound semiconductor material, says Benkendorfer.
X-Celeprint hopes to create 20 jobs in the next two years, while the centre has set a goal of creating 200 jobs over the next six years.
By Roy Rubenstein
Press release: New SFI Research Centre to harness power of light in developing next-generation ICT and medical device technologies
Press release: X-Celeprint Commences Business Operations; Names Kyle Benkendorfer CEO