Photonics automated assembly and testing

From Lab to Fab

Photonics automated assembly and testing
From Lab to Fab

ficonTEC provides automated micro-assembly and testing solutions for the photonics industry. These solutions are cutting-edge, and are independent of the device material and of the specific application the device is targeting. Additionally, our modular system architecture is scalable from early device development environments, over new product introduction (NPI) and all the way up to high-volume requirements.

A globally installed base of over 500 systems is already serving integrated photonics applications in telecom and datacom sectors, in sensing applications ranging from biomedical to automotive, in high-power diode laser assembly, and much more.

Not resting with the status quo, ficonTEC is also actively involved in several internationally-supported initiatives that promote access to integrated photonics technology through the transition to high-volume manufacturing processes via advanced automation for both singulated dies as well as wafer-level approaches.

Solutions & Capabilities

Automated high-precision micro-assembly and testing of
photonic and opto-electronic components and sub-systems

Welcome to ficonTEC


Lens array alignment & attach


Dual-fiber alignment


Flip-chip assembly


Transceiver free-optics alignment

NPI (New Product Introduction)

Our Vision

By actively engaging in international photonics integration initiatives,
we stay ahead of current technologies and fulfil the requirements of industry

Assembly, packaging and testing remain the highest cost factors in photonic integrated circuit (PIC) production. To address this issue, international collaborations around the globe are actively researching new manufacturing concepts for PIC technology. The goal of these projects is to provide industry with the production processes and the standards that will enable manufacturing to progress from the 1000s to the 100s of thousands and millions, from single chip assembly to wafer-level approaches, and where cost/part is the measure for equipment amortization rather than initial capital outlay.

ficonTEC has consistently retained a unique modular approach to its machine design. Flexible and scalable options already enable customized assembly and test solutions suitable for early device development, for new product introduction (NPI), and all the way up to high-volume production facilities – both for contract manufacturing and for in-house R&D and production.


Photonic integrated circuits (PICs)


Photonic device assembly


High-volume applications

Technology horizons

What is photonics assembly and testing?

Photonics devices enable light to be used in manufacturing,
for sensing and for communications. How are these devices assembled?


The alignment and bonding (assembly) of opto-electronic components and fiber-optic pig-tailing into finished PICs is commonly referred to as photonics packaging. Typical devices include telecom/datacom transceivers and TOSA/ROSA, stacked laser diode bars and high-power multi-emitter assemblies, micro-optics, camera modules, fiber-coupled devices, photonics-based sensors, automotive LIDAR, and much more.

Automating the assembly process steps requires multi-axis, sub-micron accuracy component alignment (passive/active) and subsequent bonding using epoxy compounds, soldering and/or laser welding. In particular, as part of standard manufacturing practices, all assembly steps need to be compliant with stringent requirements for yield, process repeatability and performance reliability, while still providing minimal process cycle time.


Devices also require testing. Testing encompasses characterization, validation, verification and mass production ‘go’ / ’no go’ testing from early prototyping (with multi-project wafers, MPW) to mass market production. It is required for simple devices such as laser diode chips, all the way up to complex photonics transceivers, compact camera modules (CCM), sensors, and other opto-electronics.

Why ‘From Lab to Fab’? An increasingly important aspect in manufacturing is the current trend from singulated chips to full wafer-level approaches. This transition for photonics component manufacturing is much as was the case for the micro-electronics industry in the 1970’s.

Currently, system approaches and materials R&D initiatives still require flexible, automation-capable micro-assembly machines for low-volume testing of device concepts and packaging approaches. However, the proposed wafer-level manufacturing and testing schemes for high-volume ‘fab-type’ photonics applications, require development of highly-automated packaging and assembly machines.

Requirements for process automation of optical interconnect technologies

The book discusses developments in optical materials and components (such as single and multi-mode waveguides), circuit boards and ways the technology can be deployed in data centres – Woodhead Publishing 2016.

Chapter 14 “Requirements for process automation of optical interconnect technologies” is written by Ignazio Piacentini (Director of Business Development) and Torsten Vahrenkamp, CEO – ficonTEC Germany.

Read chapter



Recent News & Upcoming Events

ficonTEC company news and product developments in the press,
and where to find us at events around the globe

PIC Conference

Belgium, Brussels
April 10-11, 2018

Medtec Europe


Germany, Stuttgart
April 17-19, 2018

Electrontech Expo


Russia, Moscow
April 17-19, 2018

PIC Awards Finalist


has been chosen as a finalist
for the PIC Awards 2018

New Subsidiary


ficonTEC Esti
has expanded their staff count
Tallinn’s Tehnopol Center



becomes member of VDMA
sector association EMINT