Archive for the ‘AIM Photonics’ category

Moving at the Speed of Light: an AIM Photonics Milestone

August 8, 2017

University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays

Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership advancing the nation’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, today announced the winner of a proposal call for a new Defense Department Government Directed Project for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) data links for cryogenic focal plane arrays (FPAs).

The $1,200,000 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) project, along with an additional $400,000 in matching funds from a team led by the University of Arizona (UA), will support a consortium that includes Sandia National Labs, Raytheon (RTN) and other aerospace firms engaged in FPA technology.

The project will encompass the design, fabrication and test of cryogenic PIC-based datalinks for FPA readout and has the potential to strongly advance imaging capabilities for national defense applications. Capitalizing on the national reach and capabilities of this unique consortium, the PICs at the heart of the project will be manufactured in the AIM Photonics silicon photonics fabrication facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, and could also lead to fabrication opportunities at AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility, which is being built in in Rochester, New York.

“When you consider the rapid pace of growth in both the FPA size and the required data rates, conventional electronic readouts become limited because they are both a heat source and a communication bottleneck,” says Dr. Robert Norwood, a Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, and Principal Investigator for the Program.

UA’s extensive experience in cryogenic FPAs and integrated photonics, working in concert with major contractors of the defense industrial base, will target a design and development methodology that provides a common PIC datalink solution across multiple system needs and environments.

“We are proud to partner with the DoD, the University of Arizona, and our industrial members in the development of this critical technology,” said Michael Liehr, Ph.D., CEO of AIM Photonics. “The design and development infrastructure we have developed is state-of-the-art, and a key benefit for the team as they create this next integrated photonics technology.”

Dr. Frank Jaworski, Program Manager, Emerging Technology, Raytheon Vision Systems, added, “Raytheon regards the integration of photonic integrated circuits with focal plane arrays as a critical path for the development of future DoD imaging systems vital to the nation’s security. We look forward to the University of Arizona’s leadership of the consortium and utilizing their expertise in developing this key technology.”

Neil Supola, Chief of the Infrared Focal Plane Array Branch at the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, and Government Program Manager for AIM Photonics, noted that, “This program is a great opportunity for the Department of Defense to leverage advances in integrated photonics manufacturing being realized by the Manufacturing USA program together with its state, industrial, and academic partners. The scope of industrial participation on this project highlights the relevance photonic integration has within the DoD community, and this project’s inherent potential to make a large impact.”

Two years after VP Biden visit, what’s the state of photonics? | WHEC.com

August 4, 2017

Two years ago, former Vice President Joe Biden came to Rochester to announce the start of AIM Photonics.

WHEC TV in Rochester wanted to know: what has happened since?

There are two different things here. The thing the Vice President talked about was AIM Photonics. That is the federally-funded research and development group that is trying to invent photonic circuit boards so that photons power everything in the world.

I couldn’t find their office here.

On the other hand I found people in the private sector and their job is photonics.

Just Google AIM Photonics. The website shows the old Kodak R&D building on Lake Avenue. So today that’s where I went. I asked reception if I could get to the AIM Photonics office. The building receptionist told me they’re not here yet.

“They’re not here yet,” I responded. “Okay.”

But then I met Filipp Ignatovich.

>>READ MORE<<

Precision Optical Transceivers Makes Move to Eastman Business Park

March 30, 2017

New York Photonics member Precision Optical Transceivers (POT) is expanding into Eastman Business Park in Rochester. The company currently employs 20 people and expects to add another 30 positions at the new facility over the next two years.

POT works with a wide variety of industries, including health care, education, enterprise, government entities, and service providers.  The company has invested heavily into Silicon and Integrated Photonics over the past two years and expects significant growth in both its technical and manufacturing capabilities by 2020.

“Our company has been growing rapidly so expansion was inevitable.  We wanted to relocate to a place where we not only can continue to grow, but to a place that will actually help us grow.” said Todd Davis, CEO of Precision Optical Transceivers. “

“The recent announcement that the AIM Photonics Test, Assembly and Packaging Center would be located in Eastman Business Park means we will be very close to the epicenter of Photonics research and manufacturing growth. And the manufacturing support infrastructure of the Park means we will have access to all the support we need to grow rapidly.”

The company chose EBP in which to expand its operation largely due to the proximity of the new AIM Photonics facility located on the EBP campus at ONSemiconductor.The optical telecommunications systems developer had long outgrown its Brockport location.  They plan to add positions in engineering, manufacturing and support staff in the coming months.  

AIM Photonics Manufacturing IPSR Spring 2017 Meeting

February 24, 2017

AIM Photonics IPSR Spring Meeting>>AGENDA HERE<<

AIM Photonics TAP Facility Announced

December 14, 2016

Rochester, NY, December 14 2016

A former Eastman Kodak Co. building on Lake Avenue is the recommended site for the research hub of the nation’s national integrated photonics initiative, AIM Photonics, sources say — with a vote confirming the selection expected Wednesday morning.

The site is at the edge of Eastman Business Park, formerly Building 81 and now home to ON Semiconductor. The company will lease excess clean room, lab and office space for what is called the Testing, Assembly and Packaging facility, according to sources with knowledge of the recommendation.

Members of the state board overseeing American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics will vote on the site during a meeting in downtown Rochester, sources said, with Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others expected to attend. Howard Zemsky, head of Empire State Development, is expected to present the proposal.

>>Read More Here<<

From Empire State Development:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state-of-the-art AIM Photonics Manufacturing Facility will be located in Eastman Business Park in Rochester at ON Semiconductor. The facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons in place of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits. The New York State Photonics Board of Officers met today and unanimously recommended the new site.

First announced by Governor Cuomo with Vice President Joe Biden in July 2015, the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics will help secure the nation and region’s leadership in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing. Optics, photonics and imaging is one of the three industry clusters identified in “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative blueprint to grow the economy, create jobs and drive opportunity.

“The selection of ON Semiconductor further cements the Finger Lakes’ position at the forefront of the photonics industry and as a national leader in this emerging, high-growth field,” Governor Cuomo said. “With a long history of spearheading technological innovation, Rochester is delivering on a bold vision to revitalize the regional economy and jumpstart 21st century growth. It’s clear that our strategic investments in next generation industries are paying off – delivering high-paying jobs and driving the Finger Lakes forward.”

In September 2016, Empire State Development hired an independent site selector for the TAP facility to create a more efficient process at a lower cost to taxpayers. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms, conducted a thorough review and evaluation of potential site locations based upon criteria and specifications developed in coordination with the United States Department of Defense and other key stakeholders. This independent process will save taxpayers tremendously, with at least $10 million in savings from original cost estimates pending final negotiations and approvals.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Using an independent, third party site selector allowed for the evaluation of multiple sites in the Greater Rochester region before Eastman Business Park was selected for the TAP facility. The new TAP facility will help secure the Finger Lakes leadership role in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing and is further proof that the future shines bright for photonics in Rochester.”

The site selection process recommended ON Semiconductor, located in Building 81 at Eastman Business Park, based on its existing infrastructure, including a clean room; regional accessibility; and the fact that it had the highest “quality” score based on factors such as building functionality, operational needs and real estate terms. ON Semiconductor is also likely to meet the required project timing and has the ability to leverage significant existing building and system infrastructure. It is also located at the Eastman Business Park, which is a priority strategic site identified by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. An environmental review will be conducted by Empire State Development and the site is expected to be approved by the Empire State Development Board of Directors at a later date.

Bill Schromm, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at ON Semiconductor, said, “With energy efficient semiconductor expertise across a wide range of applications, ON Semiconductor is very familiar with the semiconductor processes and facilities required for manufacturing high performance power conversion, wireless, connected, and imaging solutions. Our Rochester operations at the EBP facility incorporate the design, wafer fabrication, assembly, packaging, and testing of imaging components and we have a unique, on-site infrastructure in place, including process engineers and technicians, cleanroom facilities technicians, maintenance technicians and an HSE specialist, to help support the implementation of the TAP center. Coupling that with existing, available cleanroom space, we believe we offered a strong solution for a fast, efficient and safe enablement the TAP facility. We are honored to be selected as the site where the industry’s expertise and partnerships will come together to drive integrated photonic solutions. We also look forward to identifying additional technical and business areas to collaborate with AIM/Photonics to help grow these emerging technologies locally and attract additional businesses and talent to the area.”

Photonics MEMS Are Already Made In Rochester!

November 24, 2016

Just down the road, twenty minutes from Rochester.

Off Route 332 half way between the New York State Thruway and Canandaigua.

A Department of Defense Trusted Foundry Specializing in Packaging Photonics Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) on a chip.

What makes this interesting?  Well, for one thing: packaging, and we aren’t talking about wrapping a birthday present or your shipping an receiving department, we are talking about the delicate and miraculous task of putting a silicon semiconductor chip into a metal, glass or ceramic package with the electronic and/or photonics connections that will make it a functional, usable device in something like your computer, your mobile devices, your GPS or your car.

The talent set for packaging MEMS devices will be very similar to packaging integrated photonics devices.

We’re talking about the Smart Systems Technology Center, what once was Infotonics, which emerged as a stand-alone, self-supporting MEMS fabrication and packaging facility after its initial supporters, Kodak, Corning and Xerox all abandoned ship.  What was once a center staring into the abyss was restructured, reorganized and firmly established under the guidance of a reconstituted board of directors.

Who accomplished this amazing collaborative feat?  The chairman of the board at the time was John Hart, CEO of Lumetrics, in Rochester.  Hart, the token “small company representative from the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster” took the helm in 2008, hiring interim CEO John Bellardini (J.C. Jones, currently CFO Chobani) and guiding the center’s recovery from financial mismanagement and plain old shortsightedness to hiring a new (and current) director, Paul Tolley and becoming a profitable enterprise.

During the next two years the center navigated the perilous straights of reorganization — while finding and servicing new customers, and re-establishing the trust of State and Federal Government officials, most notably perhaps, Senator Chuck Schumer, who had every reason to feel betrayed by the way the Infotonics Center, as it was initially called, had failed to live up to its promise – and his support.

When The Infotonics Center merged with SUNY POLYTECH in 2011 it was a self-sufficient, profitable MEMS production center that soon earned Department of Defense “Trusted Foundry” status with the support once again of US Senator Chuck Schumer.

What does the future hold for this jewel in Canandaigua, just outside of Rochester, and a crucial component of the region’s OPI ecosystem?  Once can only hope that they continue working with commercial customers and continue innovating for years to come.

It would be a travesty if this center were to be accidentally tarnished by the events surrounding SUNY Polytech’s 2016 bid-rigging scandal.

2016 Annual Meeting Follow-up

November 7, 2016

img_4974spronsors

Thank you, friends in photonics, for supporting the New York Photonics Annual Meeting and our economic development agenda.

A special thank-you to our sponsors, without whom we would not be in a position to advocate for the region’s optics, photonics & imaging industry.

We hope that you enjoyed hearing from Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, senator Chuck Schumer and congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and we hope that you recognize what tremendous advocates we have for our industry in Washington.

To reiterate this year’s priorities from the meeting:

  • Our region has a legacy in optics, photonics and imaging like no place else in America, and we have won numerous opportunities for leveraging our strategic advantages for the future.  At this stage, it is up to the community stakeholders – the region’s economic development partners and the industry – to make that happen.  The New York Photonics ecosystem is robust and prime for further development.
  • We are advocates – and we hope that we can count on your support – for the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s capital campaign, Gateway Project, and Strasenburgh Planetarium upgrades.  We see the RMSC as the point where all vectors intersect: education, tourism, economic development, and the arts.  We envision the RMSC campus as an international center for light, astronomy, multimedia and education, and we feel that this proect deserves the support of the Finger Lakes Regional Council and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, Finger Lakes Forward.
  • Also as part of Finger Lakes Forward, we continue to advocate for the Finger Lakes Regional Center for Optics Manufacturing, a national center for manufacturing innovation and problem solving for America’s optics, photonics & imaging industry and national security.  We cannot imagine another effort that will more effectively leverage our strategic advantages in optics, photonics and imaging.  You will be hearing more about this center in the future.

The Demo

People seemed to enjoy the demonstration of state-of-the-art planetarium projection technology!  Some clarification is needed, however.

The system that we experienced on the 27th was a demonstration of what is possible.  What we saw was a 4K projection system, meaning that we experienced 4,000 pixels from horizon to horizon through the zenith of the dome.  This is the entry level for what we would like to see in the Strasenburgh Planetarium, including filling the central pit, expanded seating, and a new projection surface for the dome.

We see it as the beginning of new possibilities for Rochester’s planetarium in addition to the brilliant astronomy that will already enjoy, only in HD – including multimedia events and new kinds of full-dome programming – all of course, accelerated by integrated photonics!

Handouts, or are they E-outs?

For more about planetarium full dome possibilities, click here.

For those of you who requested the presentations from the Planetarium portion of the meeting, you can find them here.  For the animations to work from my presentation you will need to download it.  We are unable to share Ed White’s AIM Photonics presentation for security reasons.

Photographs from the event can be found here.  You may find yourself somewhere in these shots!

News about the awards is here.

Thank you again for joining us on the 27th and thank you for your continued support!