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OPAL-SD - Single-die semi-automated probe station

Entry-level, flexible, cost-effective and upgradeable. Automated optical alignment and test of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) with traceable results that can be queried. Manual positioning of die and electrical probes.

Testing photonic integrated circuits (PIC)

Swiftness, control and upgradeability to accelerate R&D and manufacturing processes

The OPAL-SD is a cost-effective test station for the automated alignment, navigation and testing of photonic integrated circuits (PIC), at the die-, bar- or module-level. It is designed to help small R&D teams and academia in developing automated test processes with flexibility.   

The OPAL-SD station is your entry to the OPAL family of test stations dedicated to PIC testing, all powered by the PILOT software. Most of the hardware of the OPAL-SD single-die station can be seamlessly transferred to another OPAL station for higher throughput and better performance. All the development of automated test done with the OPAL-SD stations are also compatible with the other OPAL test stations, allowing for efficient upgrade and scalability.  

Data-driven, high-quality measurement results


The OPAL single-die test station for integrated photonics is composed of a 4-axis manual stage and chuck, as the base system.

Different options of motorized optical head(s) depending on application requirements are available. They all enable automated fast alignment, for repeatable optical probing to characterize the performance of PIC with high precision and accuracy. Different options of optical head are available to match your needs, from motorized 3-axis for vertical surface coupling to more advanced 6-axis motorized motion systems for precise edge coupling.

Manual or motorized electrical head(s) can be added for DC or RF probing. A thermal chuck option is available for thermal heating or cooling control of the die. The station also, includes a top-vision system and a side vision system. The station comes with an industrial-grade PC and a license for the PILOT software suite to enable control and automation.

It offers fully automated optical probe navigation and alignment at the die-level, and manual electrical probing. Together with the PILOT software suite, the OPAL-SD station becomes a complete, flexible and scalable solution for lab automation, which can control any third-party instruments.

When combined with the advanced optical measurements capabilities of EXFO’s product line of optical instrumentation, this system provides an unmatched solution for optical spectrum analysis as well as electro-optic testing.


PILOT is a software platform that orchestrate 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-SD single die 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-measurement 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

Characterization of a single singulated die

Research-grade solution for PIC testing and characterization

Flexible design with repositionable optical and electrical RF/DC heads

Preparation, automated execution (alignment, instrument control) and data management (repository, analysis) with PILOT software

Different optical head options, as needed: Up to 6 motorized axes for surface and edge coupling with single fibers or fiber arrays

Precise DC and RF probing positioners


Optical and electrical probing and testing of PIC at the die, module or bar-level

For R&D, low-volume design verification and test development

Perfect for academia and R&D teams

Opto-electronic testing of integrated photonic platforms (e.g., silicon photonics, indium phosphide, III-V, polymer, heterogeneous)

Application-agnostic (e.g., telecom & datacom transceivers, quantum, LIDAR, sensors, AI)