In particular, they are talking about silicon nitride photonics, which Ligentech specialises in.
“Silicon nitride offers superior performance to manage the light in the chip circuitry, with unprecedented low propagation losses and high-power handling,” said Ligentec co-founder Michael Zervas. “While there is growing worldwide demand for silicon nitride photonics integrated circuits, the missing piece is a commercial volume foundry that can keep pace with the expected uptake.”
The deal means Ligentec’s proprietary SiN process will be available using X-Fab’s existing high-throughput foundry workflow, making commercial volumes of SiN photonic ICs available from Europe.
“X-Fab’s advanced equipment and superior process control will enable us to serve the mass market with elevated performance photonic ICs,” said Ligentec director Thomas Hessler. “Its multiple sites and capacity to deal with 100,000 new 200mm wafer starts per month gives supply assurance and almost limitless scope for scaling. The track record X-Fab has in the automotive and medical sectors will open up new opportunities for Ligentec.”
“The integrated photonics market has huge potential. We have partnered with Ligentec because it has the highest performance and the most mature offering for passive photonic ICs,” said X-Fab CEO Rudi De Winter. “This is complemented by a strong development pipeline, rooted in the company’s long-term R&D relationship with EPFL in Lausanne.”