Thin-film lithium niobate on insulator: The transformative technology for integrated photonics

Thin-film lithium niobate components on a wafer are tested

A novel material platform for photonic integrated circuits

Thin-film Lithium Niobate on Insulator (TFLN) is a novel platform material for photonic integrated circuits (PICs). This is a game-changer in the photonics field. CSEM and its partners are leading the transformation of Lithium Niobate technology by establishing the first commercial foundry for TFLN in Europe. Their focus is on democratizing access to TFLN technology, ensuring its many benefits transcend boundaries.

The benefits of TFLN for various applications and domains

Boosting efficiency across multiple domains, Hamed Sattari, Technology Manager of CSEM’s PIC TFLN platform, observes that: “At the core of this innovation lies the material capability of TFLN to contribute to a sustainable digital revolution, as it can significantly reduce the power consumption and heat dissipation of photonic devices compared to other material platforms for PIC. This ability is crucial to data and telecom applications.” TFLN can also enhance the performance of integrated photonics across other domains, such as biosensing, environmental monitoring, and quantum computing.

CSEM’s open foundry service for TFLN PICs

CSEM and its partners support the photonics ecosystem through CSEM’s Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) open foundry service for TFLN PICs, which allows multiple clients, from academia to industry, to share a wafer for prototyping and validating PIC designs. This service reduces development costs and environmental impact while facilitating innovation and collaboration in the photonics community worldwide. CSEM is a pioneer and a leader in offering this service globally.

Miraex: A success story in using CSEM’s foundry service

Miraex, a start-up focusing on photonic sensing and quantum computing solutions, has already benefited from CSEM’s TFLN foundry service. “By partnering with CSEM’s foundry, we gained a head start in testing and developing our technology at a reasonable cost. Unlike mature silicon photonics, TFLN is a new and promising platform. We faced many challenges and learned a lot from CSEM’s feedback and validation. They helped us improve our designs and achieve our goals faster. Thanks to CSEM’s service, we discovered new opportunities in integrated photonics and boosted our start-up’s growth,” explains Phoebe Tengdin, Lead Optical Engineer at Miraex.

A key technology in sustainable electronics

TFLN PICs hold immense potential in the evolution of sustainable electronics. Once brought to market, this technology, which uses less power, generates less heat, and requires less material, can contribute to a circular economy, scalability, energy savings, miniaturization, and efficient industrial processes.

The future of integrated photonics

TFLN is a breakthrough technology for integrated photonics. It opens up new opportunities not only for photonics applications, but also in domains that have not yet tapped into this technology, such as automotive, space, and health diagnosis. With its accessible foundry service and wide network, CSEM has positioned itself to meet the emerging needs of these domains.

Looking for thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) photonic integrated circuit (PIC) foundry service?

Contact us today if you would like to learn more. Or refer to our expertise on Photonics for more information on how we could help you.