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CMC partners with Advanced Micro Foundry to accelerate photonics R&D


CMC Microsystems, Kingston ON, and Advanced Micro Foundry (AMF), a Singapore-based manufacturer of silicon photonics integrated circuits, are partnering to develop a new design automation platform for silicon photonics that will let Canadian university researchers take the lead in developing innovations in light-based technologies. 

Photonics technology encodes data on light, rather than in electrical signals, leading to technologies and devices that are faster, more powerful, more secure and less energy-intensive. But, photonics R&D to date has been hampered by inefficiencies and disconnects in existing design environments.

The new CMC-AMF Silicon Photonics Platform allows innovators to design and prototype photonics-based technologies faster and more successfully. It includes a design kit, developed by AMF with partner Luceda Photonics, access to AMF’s fabrication services, and design tools from Luceda and Mentor. CMC will provide platform users with engineering support, reference guides and training, and will coordinate manufacturing of designs via its cost-effective Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) program. CMC is providing the platform to academic researchers and industry across Canada’s National Design Network, as well as internationally.

“A key value-add of this platform is its physical design kit (PDK), which is one of the most advanced created for photonics R&D,” says Dan Deptuck, staff scientist at CMC Microsystems. “It enables unprecedented first-time-right design of more complex systems more quickly and its industrial approach speeds up time to market.”

“Canada continues to make its mark as an innovator in this rapidly expanding technology field, and CMC has been a pioneer in enabling university-based silicon photonics R&D,” says Gord Harling, president & CEO of CMC Microsystems. “To date we have helped innovators in Canada’s National Design Network prototype more than 500 projects in silicon photonics and we have trained more than 400 students. Now, thanks to our partnership with AMF, we are able to increase our offerings to researchers, making it easier for them to access technologies and opportunities for advancing their photonics research and development. This translates directly into a technological advantage for a Canadian industry sector that is experiencing strong growth.”