Silicon Photonic IC Fabless Access Broker (PhotonFAB)
Silicon Photonic IC Fabless Access Broker
Start date: 01 Sep 2008,
End date: 31 Dec 2011
PhotonFAB organizes and facilitates access to advanced CMOS-oriented centres of expertise and foundries for research and prototyping of silicon photonic integrated circuits in a way that makes the barriers for usage very low. PhotonFAB acts as an independent broker between users and fabs.Access to this wafer scale generic integration technology is a major bottleneck today for bringing photonic IC technology to the market place. From the NoE FP6-ePIXnet a silicon photonics platform for access has emerged and will continue to exist after completion of the NoE. It provides an open non-commercial access with stable technology and well-defined design rules. The cost for the user is reduced heavily by cost sharing in multi-project wafer runs.In spite of this cost sharing, the financial and knowledge barriers for usage of this platform are still large for many research users, especially non-commercial users. The reduction of those barriers is the primary objective of PhotonFAB. The coordination of the access will be funded by the project so that the cost of usage can be limited to mask and processing costs. Furthermore, first-time noncommercial European users will receive extra design support. The logistic operation of the access will be "professionalized" and an access interface and infrastructure will be put in place geared towards a broad user base. The project will roadmap and implement the technical, legal, financial and operational evolution of a cost-shared access to silicon fabs, giving both users and fabs a route towards exploitation. Pro-active promotion towards potential users will diversify the user base and help leverage the potential of silicon photonic integration in a wide range of applicationfields.
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