AIM Photonics News Release: AIM Photonics Announces Best-in-Class 300mm Silicon Photonics Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) Performance

AIM Photonics News Release: AIM Photonics Announces Best-in-Class 300mm Silicon Photonics Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) Performance

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 10:50
News Releases
Research News
AIM Photonics MPW

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2019

Contact: Steve Ference (AIM) | | (518) 956-7319


AIM Photonics MPWs Runs Scheduled Throughout 2019 Enable Partnering Companies to Obtain Cost-Effective, World-Class Capabilities


ALBANY, NY – The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) today announced a number of technical updates leading to best-in-class 300mm silicon (Si) photonics-based multi-project wafer (MPW) performance for the Department of Defense-sponsored initiative led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). Complementing these developments, AIM Photonics’ Si photonics process design kit (PDK) continues to advance, enabling industry-leading performance as a result of AIM Photonics’ library of both active and passive high-performance photonic components, as well as interfaces, schematics, and models for the development of optical modules and systems.


“AIM Photonics is proud to continue to provide the most advanced capabilities to this growing industry, which is critical to our national technological and economic strength. Our best-in-class MPW offerings are a testament to our deep bench of experts and collaborators who support our more than 100 signed partners and other interested collaborators,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology. “Combined with our recent announcement that our Multi-Project Wafer processing time has decreased from 130 days in 2016 to fewer than 90 days, AIM Photonics remains focused on achieving impactful, world-class quality and repeatability to drive development and commercialization of the advanced technologies that will shape our world.”


AIM Photonics’ superior MPW performance is the result of new, ultra low-loss waveguides, featuring attenuation that is less than .25 and .10 dB/cm for 220nm silicon and 220nm silicon nitride (SiN), respectively, in addition to around 1dB/facet edge coupler for both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) polarization. With only 90-day fabrication time for full actives to be processed on 300mm silicon on insulator (SOI) wafers, and using the same toolset that produces 14nm and smaller circuits, these capabilities also enable easy transfer to similar high-volume equipped foundries if needed.


The MPW also features fusion bonding of the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) and an active interposer to allow for the entire design area to be utilized for photonics or metal routing, in addition to lasers that can be soldered into pockets and deep trenches for coupling. As part of AIM Photonics’ MPW offering, its passive interposer also features a 100µm-thick Si substrate with a through-silicon-via (TSV) SiN waveguide with three front-side and one back-side metal wiring levels, in addition to pockets for laser and PIC chips, which can be flip chip soldered in deep trenches for edge or evanescent fiber coupling.


With a comprehensive set of silicon PIC component libraries and by leveraging SUNY Poly’s process capabilities, AIM Photonics’ PDK now consists of more than 50 reliable photonics components, including passive components such as waveguides, edge couplers, and layer transitions, in addition to active devices such as C, C+L, and O Band photodetectors; microdisk switches and modulators; thermo-optic phase shifters and switches; and variable optical attenuators, among others, that are verified by top university and industry experts. Combined with data that can be obtained from a 14nm toolset to validate designs, this information can also help those working with AIM Photonics to achieve top-tier performance.


Key features of the latest AIM Photonics Analog Photonics/SUNY PDK include:

  • O Band modulation, detection and coupling support.
  • C+L Band modulation, detection, filtering, switching, monitoring and coupling support.
  • Single-level and Multi-level modulation format support at 50Gbps, namely NRZ and PAM-4.
  • Continued multi-vendor Electronics-Photonics-Design-Automation (EPDA) support with integrated EPDA PDK flow for hierarchical design and system-level simulation.


The combined PDK and MPW offering provides unmatched access for all customers[1] to PIC systems, especially for small to medium-size companies that desire a reduction in the time to market, as well as lower product development risk and investment. By incorporating the design, verification, and process development within the PDK, such companies are able to quickly and efficiently modify their designs as they simultaneously reduce their cost per gigabit.


“Companies operating within the integrated photonics space face a number of challenges as they seek to provide cost-effective, high-quality products. With AIM Photonics’ continually updated PDK, as well as our best-in-class, cost-effective MPW that offers a broad component library, we are thrilled to assist the industry, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with the capabilities and technical expertise they require to provide innovative and timely solutions to current technological challenges,” said Dr. Douglas Coolbaugh, AIM Photonics COO and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Associate VP for Photonics Development.


AIM Photonics will also be offering new incentives to parties interested in the most recent upcoming MPW runs. These incentives will be available at the AIM Photonics Booth #4425 Hall EF (North) during Photonics West 2019 in San Francisco, CA, February 5th – 7th or can be requested from AIM Photonics by contacting the MPW team at


AIM Photonics is leveraging SUNY Poly’s state-of-the-art facilities for three total full-build/passive MPW runs that incorporate the latest PDK, with on-demand Active/Passive PIC; Passive PIC; Passive Interposer; and Active Interposer MPW runs scheduled throughout 2019. To ensure space for all interested parties, AIM Photonics is accepting reservations for these MPW runs; those interested in participating should contact Interested parties can also sign up for the 2019 runs by visiting the AIM Photonics’ website at the following link: PDK and MPW fab access is solely available through the AIM Photonics MPW aggregator, MOSIS. Please contact MOSIS for access to the most current PDK version release at the following link:




About AIM Photonics

AIM Photonics is one of a number of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in a technology that is both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return-on-investment to the U.S. economy. For more information about AIM Photonics, visit


[1] Export Administration Regulations (EAR) laws apply