For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Shari Voorhees-Vincent (ESD) | | (585) 399-7055
ESD Press Office | | (800) 260-7313

The New York State Photonics Board of Officers Announces Tool Installation Work Has Begun at AIM Photonics Test, Assembly and Packaging Facility in Rochester

Facility Build Out Forecasted to be $3.2 Million Under Budget at TAP

Investment in Innovative State-of-the-Art Facility Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

The New York State Photonics Board of Officers (NYS Photonics Board) announced today that tool installation has begun on schedule at the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) Facility in Rochester. In addition, AIM Photonics forecasts the facility renovation will be completed $3.2 million under budget, a savings of 17%. With the construction of office and conference rooms completed last fall, and with progress of the construction of laboratories and cleanrooms enabling the process of equipping the state-of-the-art facility with the tools needed to assist project partners and members continues on schedule, through the work of a separate contractor. The TAP facility is expected to open to early customers in the 3rd quarter of 2018. Achieving readiness for development of some equipment currently on order will extend into the 4th quarter of 2018. As new customers define projects that may require new tools, additional equipment is expected to be installed in 2019.

The TAP facility, located inside ON Semiconductor at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, is the world’s first 300mm open access photonic integrated circuit (PIC) industry Test, Assembly, and Packaging Facility. It will have a brand new strategically designed tool set and analytical lab for advancing next generation PIC technology. Being centrally located in Rochester will provide partners access to a well established photonics supply chain. Optics, photonics, and imaging is one of the three industry clusters identified as key to enabling Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan, a comprehensive strategy to grow the economy.

New York State Photonics Board of Officers Chairman John Maggiore said, “The TAP facility is revolutionary and will build upon Rochester and New York State’s leadership in the optics, photonics, and imaging industries. The facility will work to attract industry leaders from across the globe and builds upon Governor Cuomo’s investment in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.”

In July of 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden announced that Rochester had been selected as the home for the Department of Defense-led American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics.

One of 14 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, with three of the fourteen institutes headquartered in New York State, AIM Photonics is an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in technologies that are both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return-on-investment to the U.S. economy. Thanks to the world-renowned consortium, the Finger Lakes is already a leader in photonics research and development and New York State will leverage this unique asset to bring the businesses and the jobs of tomorrow to the region. Currently, AIM Photonics has 89 signed members, partners, and additional interested collaborators from across the United States.

“As the TAP Facility transitions from fit out of the facility to the large-scale undertaking of installing state-of-the-art tools enabling next generation PIC research and development, AIM Photonics looks forward to continuing to build upon our exciting foundation with our growing number of industry-leading partners who will be able to leverage this facility to advance technologies that can lead to the types of applications that are improving our society,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO.

The AIM Photonics initiative is working to reduce energy consumption in data centers by supporting the replacement of copper wires with optical fiber; providing technology for optics in next generation (5G) wireless networks; helping develop the optical equivalent of radar which will facilitate the use of self-driving vehicles; and in partnership with the University of Rochester, the initiative is developing emerging optical sensors for medical and environmental applications.

“With the intent of creating a world-class enabling environment for PIC Manufacturing process development, the readiness of AIM Photonics’ high-tech Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility continues to be on schedule and under budget,” said AIM Photonics Corporate Outreach Executive and Associate Vice President for Test, Assembly, and Packaging Ed White. “We are excited to see the tool installation process underway and thrilled that the availability of industry-leading capability is just a short time away.”

In March of 2018, The New Yok State Photonics Board signed off on $60 million in approved funding for AIM Photonics representing the third and fourth tranches of state expenditures approved by the Board for the Institute. To date, the Board has approved recommendations for $247 million of the State’s $250 million commitment to the project. The total budget for AIM Photonics is $612,877,000 with the federal government committing $110 million and the state and other parties, including private sector companies, providing the balance.

New York State’s most recent $60 million investment, which covers the period April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2020, includes $30 million for the Photonics Attraction Fund which was announced by Governor Cuomo in January and aims to attract integrated photonics companies to set up manufacturing operations in the greater Rochester area. The capital budget also includes $9 million for education and workforce development efforts, as well as research and development initiatives conducted in conjunction with the University of Rochester and the Rochester institute of technology. The remaining $21 million has been dedicated to the operation of the TAP Facility, which will work to foster sustainability through industry relationships and other commercial engagements.

“Through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative, Rochester is building upon its historic strength as the optics, photonics, and imaging capital of the world,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress, and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy. “The research done at the Rochester facility will pave the way for vigorous industry growth and produce next-generation technologies. These, in turn, will result in opportunities for the region’s highly-skilled workforce."

State Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, “The Finger Lakes region has transformed before our eyes into a knowledge-based innovation economy that boasts a globally recognized high-tech optics, photonics, and imaging industries. The progress at the AIM Photonics Test, Assembly and Packaging Facility further builds on our community’s economic strengthens and ultimately will support continued job growth across the region.”

State Senator Joe Robach said, "I am excited to see the significant progress at the AIM Photonics TAP facility. With this facility calling Rochester home, our community will be on the leading forefront of innovation for photonics and optics, resulting in many positive effects for our region."

“The photonics industry is playing a major role in our efforts to create more jobs, safer/more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of our residents,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “The Greater Rochester region, led by the city of Rochester, is bringing new life to manufacturing business parks and expanding its workforce development efforts to maintain its historic lead in precision machining and optics, photonics and imaging. On behalf of the residents of Rochester, I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, the State Photonics Board and ON Semiconductor for their investments in our city.”

For additional information about AIM Photonics, click here.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.