Boudewijn Docter, CTO Effect Photonics (March 2018)

Bringing a smart chip into the market

‘During my statutory PhD period at TU/e in the group of Meint Smit I noticed that the splendid technology developed within the labs usually stays there. The business community hardly makes any use of this knowledge and we intend to change that with the foundation of Effect Photonics – now seven years ago.’

‘New technology is absolutely needed to keep up with the rapid processing of the data flow’

Boudewijn Docter: ‘We make components for optical fiber networks on the basis of optical chips which have their origin at TU/e and which we are now developing further. A box with an optical fiber connector on the front, an electric connector on the back and an optical chip inside with all the optical functions integrated into it. That is how we provide our modules to clients such as Nokia and Ericsson. And they want more. The quantities of gigabits transmitted per second increase exponentially, so new technology is absolutely needed to keep up with the rapid processing of the data flow. Given the Internet of Things coming on full tilt, whereby ‘smart’ devices will themselves start communicating with the Internet, the pace is picking up even more. Whereas consumers can see that there are all sorts of new applications coming up, the big masses are not particularly interested in the fact that those applications are running on integrated photonics. Even though life without them is almost impossible by now.’

‘For the production of our optical chips we are cooperating closely with Smart Photonics, another TU/e spinoff. A design can be optimized efficiently once you have insight into the production process, and this is how we hope to speed up the maturity of the market. Together with Ton Backx from Photon Delta we are putting a photonics ecosystem on the map. And that is a dire necessity, certainly if you want to secure big investments.’

Contact Boudewijn Docter