Archive for the ‘silicon photonics’ category

Light-based Memory Chip Stores To Permanent, Non-Volatile Memory

September 24, 2015

memory-chipThe world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter. The device, which makes use of materials used in CDs and DVDs, could help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory. ‘There’s no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory — the so-called von-Neumann bottleneck,’ explains Professor Harish Bhaskaran, who led the research. ‘But we think using light can significantly speed this up.’

>>Read More<<

 

 

Consortiums Compete for Establishment of Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

November 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity Announced

Through a Funding Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) made on Nov. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense is calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

The IP-IMI will be the largest federal investment to date under the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $110M. The IP-NMI does not include optics, optical systems or optical manufacturing. It does not include lasers at the manufacturing scale, optical materials or new systems for manufacturing critical DoD optical components. It is narrowly focused upon “domestic integrated photonics chip fabrication foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.”

The FOA was made through the Air Force Research Laboratory, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his administration’s intent to form the IP-IMI, the sixth such institute under the NNMI. The FOA reaffirms that commitment, with DoD investing $110 million, intended to be somehow matched or exceeded in investment  from industry, academia and/or state and local government through the winning proposal.

Read the White House fact sheet here.

A proposer’s day has been scheduled for Nov. 19  in Arlington, Va.

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, VA

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, Va.

New York Proposals

A National Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation in Photonics has been one of the main goals of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  Numerous lobbying efforts and a national fly-in have supported the NPI.   Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY 25) has been an enthusiastic advocate for a photonics institute led and located in Rochester, N.Y.

In Rochester, an NMI effort led by the University of Rochester has been under way for two years. The university has been working with key stakeholders across the U.S. to form a consortium to partner on an application. It is rumored that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (CNSE) is also working on an application.  Sources at the University of Rochester say that they have been engaged in brokered discussions with CNSE.

Other New York research interests might include names like Cornell University, RIT, Columbia University, Clarkson, University at Buffalo and others.  Industrial partners may include such names as Corning, GE, IBM, Global Foundries and Sematech.

Applications are due on Dec. 19.

Read the DoD Announcement here.

Recent New York Efforts

The last NMI award announcement was for an institute for power electronics.

CNSE led a consortium that applied for the Power Electronics NMI in late 2013. That Institute was awarded to a consortium based in North Carolina.  Undeterred, Gov. Andrew Cuomo later announced a New York State Power Electronics Institute under the CNSE umbrella, promising to create 500 jobs. The announcement was made in the same building where CNSE announced its Department of Energy Photovoltaics Consortium on July 17, 2013,  promising to create 100 jobs.

The competition for leadership in Optics, Photonics and Imaging seems to be paying off for New York State.

Thorlabs Acquires Corning QCL and Partners with Daylight Solutions

October 30, 2014

Component and system provider Thorlabs has continued its expansion up the photonics value chain with the acquisition of Corning’s optoelectronics research group – including significant expertise in quantum cascade laser (QCL) development.

And the company has immediately followed that up with a strategic partnership involving Daylight Solutions, the San Diego firm that has developed QCL-based products for infrared countermeasures and medical screening applications.Thorlabs1797C

The Corning QCL operation, with which Daylight has already enjoyed a long-term collaboration, and related assets including intellectual property will now be transferred to Thorlabs’ semiconductor fabrication facility in Maryland.

Read More At Optics.org

 

Corning Expansion in Canton, NY

July 29, 2014

Corning will expand production at its Canton plant in a $21 million project that will create 40 permanent jobs with the help of a low-cost power allocation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to announce today.

The plant on McAdoo Road in the town of DeKalb will increase production of high-fused silica glass used in the semiconductor industry. The plant supplies microchips for computers, cellphones and other electronics. It also makes specialized glass products for the U.S. Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.

The 30,700-square-foot expansion will include 23,500 square feet for increased production and a 7,200-square-foot warehouse. Corning is expected to host a formal ceremony next month for the start of construction.

fused silicaThe New York Power Authority is allocating 2.1 megawatts to the plant for the expansion.

“The St. Lawrence-FDR power plant is crucial for economic development in Northern New York,” Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer of NYPA, said in a news release Monday. “It’s a top priority for NYPA to utilize its low-cost hydropower in ways that will yield the greatest results and Corning’s commitment toward the creation of 40 high-paying jobs in the region is exactly that, a great result.”

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20140729/NEWS05/140728811

Photonics Technology Makes the Cut on New Request For Information

June 4, 2014

“If China shuts off the flow of glass, the United States will be out of drones in six months.”
– CEO of a critical components contractor to the DoD

It was anticipated and heavily lobbied for.  Does it look like anyone expected?

On Monday, June 2nd, the Department of the Air Force, through Air Force Material Command (Wright Patterson) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input from Industry and Academia as part of an effort to select and scope the technology focus areas for future Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).

The NNMI program was announced by president Obama in 2012.  Unable to budget the money to fund the hallmark manufacturing initiative, the administration has turned to various DOD and government agencies to fund NMI’s on its behalf.  This is the first from Air Force Material Command.

Responses are due by July 14th.

Technology areas of focus:

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Many of us are elated that photonics made the cut.  Hundreds of hours of work, lobbying and thousands of dollars in travel have resulted in Photonics being on the short list for this NMI.  What is not clear is if the White House and the DoD recognize the critical role that optics, photonics and imaging technologies play to our national security.  Interpretations will vary.

From the RFI:

The term “photonics” refers specifically to technologies for generating, transmitting, modulating, filtering, processing, switching, amplifying, attenuating and detecting light.  Photonics technologies encompass significant commercial industries and solutions for DoD unique applications.  The diverse photonics industry has a number of manufacturing approaches where a public-private investment could rapidly accelerate the technology availability from TRL 4 to TRL 6/7 and enable a sustainable industry for commercial and DoD needs.  A photonics IMI would address industrial base issues for photonics materials, such as infrared materials, nonlinear materials, low-dimensional materials, and engineered materials which are critical to our Nation’s photonics ecosystem (production, DoD, research, etc….).  A Photonics IMI could be structured to allow improvements in the cross-cutting disciplines of design, packaging, reliability and test to be applied across multiple technology topic areas leveraging common manufacturing approaches.  Preference could be given to technology topic areas that are in late stage research and development, that may require some design/foundry efforts, but the bulk of the efforts are in the packaging, reliability and test disciplines, increasing the probability that the technology will mature and transition to DoD weapon systems and/or commercial platforms in 3-5 years and enabling the institute to be self-sustaining in the 5-7 year timeframe.

Although much research and development on photonics has been done in the U.S., it has been primarily carried out by large corporations developing and using proprietary processes for application-driven designs.  Little coordination and cooperation has existed between companies.  As a result, U.S.-based photonics research and development is faced with several disadvantages:

    1. There is no common or generic component library or fabrication process.  There are almost as many technologies as photonics companies.
    2. For most potential new applications, the market is too small for payback of investments without cooperative development. 

Photonic technologies are commonly used in the high speed transmission of signals in telecommunications and high-performance information-processing systems.  In addition photonics technologies are used in high-performance information-processing systems and computing.  Finally photonic technologies are commonly used in sensors and imagers.

A lot of players around the country will be very busy crafting their responses in the next month.

 

Rochester Designated for NIST Grant, Charting a Photonics Manufacturing Initiative

May 8, 2014

New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative

Goal: Assist in developing national and regional technology roadmaps for the U.S. photonics industry and laying the groundwork for a national institute dedicated to advancing and diffusing photonics-based manufacturing technologies.

Lead: University of Rochester, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences
260 Hutchison Rd.
Rochester, NY14627

Award Number: 70NANB14H054

Federal Funding: $498,430

Project Duration:  18 months

The University of Rochester and its partners, including leading U.S. optics and photonics manufacturers, will work closely with the National Photonics Initiative to develop a National Technology Roadmap for Photonics. This roadmap will forecast the introduction of key new technologies and identify manufacturing challenges that, if solved, can strengthen the competitiveness of domestic photonics companies and bring photonics manufacturing back to the United States. Guided by the roadmap, the New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative also will lay the foundation for a national consortium devoted to advanced manufacturing technologies for photonics. In concert, the initiative will develop a regional implementation roadmap that leverages New York’s human, infrastructural, and technical resources.

The United States has been the world leader in developing photonics technologies. Fiber optics, photovoltaics, lasers, digital imaging, and flat panel displays are U.S. inventions. However, the U.S. share of photonics manufacturing has dropped significantly, falling to only 10 percent of all photonics components sold world-wide. To meet this challenge, the United States needs to take the lead in developing advanced manufacturing technologies that both enable and leverage photonics technologies. For example, optoelectronic devices that are now assembled by hand in Asia can be manufactured competitively in the U.S. by developing the ability to integrate photonic devices with electronic circuitry. And displays that are now made on large flat glass substrates in Asia could be made in the U.S. using flexible substrates and high-speed roll-to-roll coating processes.

Funded Participants:

  • New York Photonics (Rochester, NY)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)

 

The Death of Moore’s Law

April 1, 2014

This is what the death of Moore’s law looks like: EUV rollout slowed, 450mm wafers halted, and an uncertain path beyond 14nm

There have been a number of events over the past few weeks that collectively point to serious problems ahead for the semiconductor market and all the players in that space. While some companies will be impacted more than others, the news isn’t great for anyone. The entire economic structure that was supposed to support both Intel and the major foundries as they moved to next-generation manufacturing technologies, such as 450mm wafers, extreme ultraviolet lithography, and 20nm CMOS, is on the verge of coming apart.a-silicon-wafer-in-sand-maybe-640x353

 

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/178529-this-is-what-the-death-of-moores-law-looks-like-euv-paused-indefinitely-450mm-wafers-halted-and-no-path-beyond-14nm