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Delving into the fast-paced world of photonics

EXFO’s insightful TEST Talks series continued with this week’s look into the rapidly evolving world of photonic integrated circuits (aka PICs).

Industry experts Francois Menard, CTO of AEPONYX, Shon Schmidt, CEO of Maple Leaf Photonics, and François Couny, Product Line Manager at EXFO, addressed current and near-future challenges for R&D and component vendors by tackling this question: How to future-proof PIC testing? The live panel was moderated by the lively Dr. Ana González, R&D Manager at the European Photonics Industry Consortium.

Ana opened the discussion by giving a status of the industry on advances with polymer-grating couplers that make wafer-level testing of optical components commercially feasible for mass production. Depending on the vast array of applications, a range of parameters now need to be measured for component validation. The industry faces pressure to churn out high volumes of photonic components as demand explodes from all types of applications across various industries. Given the nature of some of these applications, vendors must guarantee reliability all the way, regardless of production pressure.

Francois Menard of AEPONYX explained the challenges in PIC characterization when designing next-gen transceivers that leverage new transmission technologies. Schon from MLP went into details into PIC testing requirements and the type of scalable platform necessary to meet these requirements. EXFO’s Francois Couny explored R&D requirements in detail and production challenges such as measurement speed, repeatability, and automation. The speakers highlighted the importance of flexible, modular approaches to scale production while tackling evolving requirements to maximize capital expenditure (CAPEX) over the coming years.

The discussion showed how industry stakeholders are coming together at early development stages to collaborate in addressing new challenges with end-to-end solutions that are flexible, scalable and future-proof.

Afterwards, attendees were able to join in-depth technical sessions with subject matter experts.

Three hot topics were on the menu:

  • Next-gen component testing
  • PIC-based transceiver testing
  • Automation, integration and data management

You can still join the conversation by registering for the upcoming TEST Talks. Then next one is on the dawn of a new era – that of 400G/800G transceivers!