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Scintil appoints Soitec as board observer


Photonic integrated circuit start-up gains industrial recognition from materials firm Soitec for its high-speed optical communications photonics ICs

Scintil Photonics, a Grenoble-based developer of silicon photonic integrated circuits including laser integration, has appointed Ionut Radu, director of R&D at the semiconductor materials firm Soitec, as an observer on Scintil’s board.

Soitec will be the first industrial company represented on Scintil’s board, which comprises eight members.

Scintil gained Soitec’s support due to the innovative and unique design approach of its photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for high-speed optical communications applications, particularly for datacenters, where improving efficiency is one of today’s major challenges.

“Scintil Photonics extends a warm welcome to Ionut Radu as an observer on our board. His presence is a testament to the innovative designs underpinning our silicon photonic integrated circuits, which we are developing at an industrial level,” said Pascal Langlois, chairman of Scintil’s board.

Soitec’s role at Scintil is part of its long-term strategy to be actively engaged in providing material solutions for photonics markets and supporting startups through its involvement in venture capital funds, such as Innovacom, a Scintil shareholder. Thus, Soitec is an indirect investor in Scintil.

“Consistent with our effort to monitor and support innovative companies, Soitec is proud to have Ionut join Scintil Photonics’ board as an observer,” said Thomas Piliszczuk, EVP of global strategy at Soitec. “Scintil has unique solutions for developing high-speed optical communications photonic ICs, which also hold great promise in bringing advantages to 3D sensing and quantum photonics applications.”

Scintil’s photonic platform, enabling the integration of all the features needed to develop a fully integrated photonic IC, is unique. It is the first in the market to provide optical communication applications with smaller, cost-effective, scalable and mass producible PIC solutions.

Today, 71.5 percent of data transmission occurs over short distances and inside data centers. Higher bit rates, reduced power consumption and cost are critical factors in meeting this massively growing traffic demand. Scintil Photonics’ technology addresses these challenges with optical engines that are photonic fully integrated circuits. Its solutions combine the high-end of silicon and InP photonics, using wafer-scale bonding of InP on silicon. It uses a commercial silicon photonic foundry to fabricate its PICs.

“As a major player in the semiconductor industry, Soitec brings to Scintil deep technological expertise, vision and global market experience that will enrich our knowledge,” said Sylvie Menezo, president and CTO of Scintil Photonics.

“Scintil’s disruptive PIC technology is key to improving the energy efficiency of data centre transceivers and sensors. We at Soitec look forward to supporting the management team in its drive to bring these products to market within the next few years,” added Radu.

Scintil has teams based in Grenoble, France, and Toronto, Canada. The company raised €4M ($4.4M) a year ago from private funds, and an additional €4M in national grants and bank loans. Scintil recently reached an agreement with a commercial foundry for prototyping and volume production. The company is targeting a set of prototypes this year (800 Gbit/sec and 1,600 Gbit/sec), for entry into the market end of 2022.

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