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OPAL-MD - Multi-die automated test station

Accurate, automated, fast testing of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) with traceable results.

Testing photonic integrated circuits (PIC)

Swift multi-die characterization

The OPAL-MD multi-die test station provides high performance characterization for integrated photonics with accurate, repeatable, flexible and fast hardware. The PILOT software suite enhances the OPAL-MD hardware capabilities to provide an automated testing station and a source of quality measurements that can be turned into actionable data. The complete suite of applications is a platform that supports the full test-and-measurements flow and helps users to become more data-driven. Combined with EXFO’s advanced optical measurement capabilities and open to any third-party instrument, the OPAL-MD is a dedicated platform for PIC testing.

OPAL-MD platform

The station’s hardware consists of a motorized 4-axis motion system chuck positioning stage, with thermal control as an option. It also comprises a high-resolution top vision system and a telecentric side vision system. The station can accommodate up to three probing heads for optical or electrical probes.

The high resolution and repeatability of the base motion system and motorized optical probe translates into lower insertion loss and error margin on optical measurements that can repeat on multiple dies and circuits efficiently, without any human intervention during test execution.

PILOT automation software

PILOT is a software platform that orchestrates the complete flow of PIC test and measurement: (i) test preparation, (ii) execution of fully automated navigation, alignment and measurements at a high throughput and (iii) analysis and data management of the results.

It transforms the OPAL-MD station into an automated testing station and a source of quality measurements that can be processed into actionable data. The complete suite of applications supports the full test-and-measurements flow and helps users to become more data-driven.

Powerful and scalable

From software architecture to implementation, PILOT is designed for scalability in time and volume and helps implement best practices. It streamlines automation of tasks (preparation, data analysis, reporting) and measurements (navigation, alignment, instrument control) to increase effectiveness. The software is composed of multiple applications, each designed for its specific task, with de-coupled concepts and responsibilities.

Database benefits

Underlying all applications, the software is linked to a database (cloud-based or on-premises), that acts as a data repository for all of the elements (results and experimental conditions, station configuration, test definition, component definition, drivers, python scripts). PILOT enables multi-users, multi-site collaboration with a shared common workspace of the data. The database is relational, traceable and scalable to high volume, making the system natively compatible and designed to support advanced data analysis, artificial intelligence and business intelligence tools through built-in tools or by interoperability. 

Key features

Multi-die PIC characterization in one single execution

Flexible design with reconfigurable probes

Single software suite for preparation, execution and analysis of PIC test data

Ultra-precise optical heads – ideal for surface and edge-coupling

Precise DC and RF probing positioners


Optical and electrical probing and testing of integrated photonics on multiple dies

Opto-electronic testing on any integrated photonic platforms: silicon photonics, indium phosphide, III-V, polymer, heterogeneous, etc.

Application-agnostic: telecom & datacom transceivers, quantum, LIDAR, sensors, AI, etc.

Pilot production

Design and process validation

MPW die verification

Product demo