Eindhoven-based SMART Photonics, a company that focuses on foundry for Indium Phosphide photonics semiconductors, has received a new loan worth up to €13M. The financing will be provided by Netherlands’ Rabobank.
Speaking on the development, Eerke Hoven, Director Corporate Clients at Rabobank, explains, “SMART Photonics is a company that fits perfectly with our Banking for Brainport strategy. We have been involved in SMART Photonics since the startup phase in 2012. The successful funding round in 2020, led by Innovation Industries, has further strengthened our confidence in the company. We facilitate the next phase of growth with our financing.”
How will the funds be used?
With this loan, the company will further support the scale up of production of photonics chips and to strengthen its role in the growing photonics ecosystem.
According to SMART Photonics’ CFO, Maarten Wellens, “Currently we are shifting gears in our plan to become the leading foundry and development partner for integrated photonics. With this new financing, we can accelerate the investment in our manufacturing facilities, new equipment and the needed know-how to keep our leading position. We are looking forward to supporting an expanding customer base from proof of concept phase up to full production.”
SMART Photonics overview
The company is focused on offering a foundry production services predominantly for Indium Phosphide based photonic components. “We are an independent pure-play foundry, using our knowledge, experience, and equipment to produce photonic components for our customers, based on their designs,” says the company on its website.
The company offers a complete production process from epitaxial growth and re-growth, processing, polishing, and dicing of wafers into chips. In addition, the company also helps its clients to support from the proof of concept phase up to and including full production. “As a foundry, we also offer single or combined process steps to complete or being a back-up for the production processes of customers.”
SMART Photonics was founded in 2012 with an aim to improve people’s lives by introducing integrated photonics everywhere. It is based at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company has successfully manufactured over 300 generic chip designs, to date.
According to SMART Photonics, Indium phosphide chips are proving to be the better choice in many applications, ranging from next-generation low-power consumption data-centres to a variety of sensing applications for structural monitoring and medical diagnostics.
Besides, Integrated photonics also plays an important role in the aircraft industry, air quality monitoring, autonomous driving, and ultra-secure cryptography.
The EU recognises photonics as one of the six ‘Key Enabling Technologies (KETs)’. The expectations are that this new technology will cause a revolution similar to that of electronic chips forty years ago, when people first started to integrate electronic components into electronic (micro) chips. SMART Photonics believes that PIC’s will enable future solutions that can not be imagined today.
The company currently has a team of over 100 people who are helping customers with increased automated manufacturing capabilities for photonic integrated circuits, discrete lasers, buried hetero structures, modulators and other photonic components based on Indium Phosphide.