Generic Integration Technology

The component count for Photonic ICs has doubled each 2½ years: an exponential trend comparable with Moore’s law. To sustain this development, the COBRA integration philosophy is based on the insight that a broad range of functionalities can be achieved with a small set of robust, generic building blocks, just like transistors, capacitors and resistors in CMOS electronics. To achieve this, we coordinate the EC FP7 PARADIGM project and lead the Dutch STW Perspectief Program on Generic Technologies for Integrated Photonics to advance Europe's lead in InP photonic integrated circuits. Work focuses on the development of advanced technology, library development for advanced components, novel methods for on-wafer testing, and design of advanced PICs. Our group was the first in the world to provide open access to generic Multi-Project Wafer runs  for integration of active and passive photonic components. We are presently hosting the JePPIX platform that is providing open access to the InP-based integration platforms of the UK company Oclaro, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institut and our spinoff company SMART Photonics.


Basic building blocks which are already in the COBRA Generic Integration Technology are:

  1. Semiconductor optical amplifiers and active regions which form the basic building block for a range of lasers and high speed photodetector designs.
  2. Passive waveguide devices formed with shallow, deep and electrically isolated sections. Example components include MMI-couplers, and AWGs
  3. Electro-refractive modulators for phase modulators, forming a key part in Mach-Zehnder data modulators and optical switches Building blocks which are currently in research phase and are planned for future releases of the generic integration technology platform include:
  4. Polarisation converters 5) Spot Size Converters for improving packaging tolerances 6) Deep etched  tunable DBR-gratings for providing on chip reflectors

Selected publications Augustin, L.M., Smit, M.K., Grote, N., Wale, M.J. & Visser, R. (2013). Standardized process could revolutionize photonic integration. Euro Photonics, 18(September), 30-34. Smit, M.K., Tol, J.J.G.M. van der & Hill, M.T. (2012). Moore’s law in photonics. Laser & Photonics Reviews, 6(1), 1-13. Smit, M.K., Leijtens, X.J.M., Bente, E.A.J.M., Tol, J.J.G.M. van der, Ambrosius, H.P.M.M., Robbins, D.J., Wale, M.J., Grote, N. & Schell, M (2011).Generic foundry model for InP-based photonics. IET Optoelectronics, 5(5), 187-194. Leijtens, X.J.M. (2011). JePPIX : the platform for Indium Phosphide-based photonics. IET Optoelectronics, 5(5), 202-206. Tol, J.J.G.M. van der, Oei, Y.S., Khalique, U., Nötzel, R. & Smit, M.K. (2010). InP-based photonic circuits : comparison of monolithic integration techniques. Progress in Quantum Electronics, 34(4), 135-172. Nagarajan, R.P. and Smit, M.K., Photonic integration, IEEE LEOS Newsletter 6, 4-10, 2007