AIM Photonics Members Meeting Provides Key Updates on the Initiative’s Progress

Loucas Tsakalakos of GE presents at AIM members meeting

Cem Bonfil of Optiwave presents at AIM Members meeting


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

Day-Long Engagement in Syracuse, NY, Sees Strong Attendance and Interest from Industry, Government, and Academic Partners

ALBANY, NY – The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) announced the successful conclusion of its Fall 2018 Members Meeting, which took place on Tuesday, October 23, alongside the Emerging Technology Showcase at the 2018 NYSTAR Annual Meeting in Syracuse, New York. The engagement was a unique opportunity for the initiative’s growing list of more than 100 members from industry, academia, and government to discuss opportunities to collaborate on advanced photonic integrated circuit technology design, manufacturing, and commercialization.

“We are thrilled to hold AIM Photonics’ Fall 2018 Members Meeting to further enable collaborations amongst members of this burgeoning national initiative, with engaging presentations by new members, industry, and government leaders, in addition to globally recognized researchers,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO and SUNY Poly Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology. “This success of this latest meeting is a testament to the innovation-focused ecosystem which the AIM Photonics initiative has created, driving the cross-pollination of game-changing ideas to initiate technological progress in this field which is rife with potential.”

Among the technology highlights from the Members Meeting, AIM Photonics leaders and partners discussed the latest Process Design Kit, or PDK, which was developed and recently announced by Analog Photonics and SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). The PDK provides SMEs with a key resource for the development of the baseline technology and design of the products to be manufactured, benefitting from the expertise of leading partnering design companies.

Combined with Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) runs, AIM Photonics’ updated PDK provides members of the Department of Defense-sponsored initiative, which is spearheaded by SUNY Poly, access to world-class silicon photonics components for the development of optical transceivers or systems used in all levels within data centers and high-performance computers, as well as applications such as LIDAR and sensors. Notably, the MPW processing time has decreased from 130 days in 2016 to fewer than 80 days, even as additional mask levels and functionality are added and world-class quality continues to be achieved. MPW runs are scheduled to take place each quarter and provide an opportunity for companies to lower product development risk and amount of investment, while reducing time to market.

“AIM Photonics early on reached its goal of providing cost-effective access to a state-of-the-art integrated photonics platform for all sizes of institutes,” said Frank Tolic, AIM Photonics Chief Marketing Officer.  “In addition to that access, we now provide the most advanced PIC MPW vehicle with industry-leading performance in cycle time, cost, and quality. It’s no surprise we’ve had over 25 new members in just the past month as a result of these accomplishments. We’re excited to welcome these new members at our meeting and look forward to continuously improving our services which are a catalyst of the current photonics evolution.”

AIM Photonics provided its members an advanced peak at the latest performance metrics, some first achieved only by AIM Photonics and members in SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s world-class semiconductor processing facility. These metrics will be again shared with attendees of the Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC2018) this December in Nashville, TN, where AIM Photonics will also exhibit with Manufacturing USA (MFGUSA) in Booth #351.  During this engagement, AIM staff and members will present at a number of technical sessions and continue to highlight AIM Photonics’ membership opportunities that provide full access to the initiative’s leading-edge resources and capabilities which can drive exciting technology commercialization possibilities, especially for SME’s that can benefit from the cost savings that can result from leveraging AIM Photonics’ facilities and expertise. Those interested in becoming a member of AIM Photonics should apply here:

“The AIM Photonics Members Meeting provided a great opportunity to receive updates about this important initiative as it advances the photonics sector and the related applications in a variety of areas, which can lead to critical technological achievements, and NASA is proud to partner with AIM Photonics on this effort,” said Michael A. Krainak, NASA Laser & Electro-Optics Branch Head and NASA Representative to AIM Photonics.

With significant collaborative PIC-related research being conducted with AIM Photonics, it is exciting to learn more about this initiative and its full capabilities, as well as the capabilities of its growing list of partners, as we leverage each other’s strengths and look forward to continuing this cutting-edge effort to foster further progress in a wide range of photonics-centered applications,” said Dr. Tingyi Gu, University of Delaware College of Engineering Assistant Professor.

The Members Meeting included welcome remarks and updates from Dr. Liehr; keynotes on quantum silicon photonics by Syrus Ziai, PsiQuantum VP of Engineering, and on the National Nanotechnology Initiative by Director of the NNCO Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf; in addition to industry and academic presentations from over 30 members; a panel discussion detailing project updates and future collaboration opportunities; a funding opportunities panel; an AIM Photonics executive panel and closing remarks by AIM Photonics Executive Dr. Tom Koch; as well as several networking opportunities and a VIP reception. AIM Photonics progress updates at the Members Meeting also included discussion of the initiative’s Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility, located in Rochester, NY, which is currently receiving and setting up state-of-the-art tools. In addition, new releases of an updated AP SUNY PDK are planned for each quarter during the next several years.

Those interested in participating in any of the AIM Photonics 2018 MPW silicon photonics runs should contact Chandra Cotter at in order to guarantee a spot on these exciting new silicon photonics offerings. Interested parties can also sign up for the 2018 runs by visiting the initiative’s 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