Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are the driving technology behind next-generation, miniaturised and high performance devices.
A PIC comprises a number of photonics components such as interconnect waveguides and optical amplifiers, integrated onto a single chip built on a compound semiconductor substrate such as InP.
Like electronic integrated circuits, PICs are fabricated in foundries using photolithography to pattern wafers for etching and material deposition. The most expensive part of a PIC is the packaging i.e. the techniques required for integrating the PIC to other components such as the micro-optics.
Because of their miniature size, robustness, high performance and low heat generation, PICs are ideal for a wide range of applications including high speed data transmission for Telecom/Datacom, optical sensing for the environment medicine and life sciences, various imaging and scanning systems for civil security and industry, and LiDAR systems for the automotive sector.