Mass manufacturing of transceivers for the terabit/s era – an update

Mass manufacturing of transceivers for the terabit/s era – an update

October 2023

Mass manufacturing of transceivers for the terabit/s era – an update

The MASSTART project is pursued by a consortium of renown European organizations and coordinated by the Fraunhofer IZM institute. It has been running since January 2019.
The integration of silicon photonics components within photonic devices still relies on legacy production technologies. This inherent issue of limited throughput and the associated high cost is unsurprisingly a major hurdle to the introduction of new photonic developments into the consumer market, and one that can only be solved by cost-efficient assembly solutions. To this end, since 2019 ficonTEC has been developing concepts and assembly solutions for the automated mass production of photonic devices. A key aspect is the concatenation of different assembly stations into a single integrated production line with automated part handling. Orchestrating the whole via a higher-ranking process control will achieve the required high throughput.

ficonTEC project manager Simon Kibben explaining the assembly strategy

Final review meeting in the laboratory

On September 26-27, 2023, the Final Project Review Meeting of MASSTART took place at ficonTEC in Achim. We took great pleasure in hosting project partners – from Leti, BRIGHT Photonics, Adtran, NVIDIA, Almae Technologies, Teem Photonics, Fraunhofer IZM and Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessaloniki – and discussing the latest findings and outcomes of the CWDM and coherent transceiver module assemblies.
A clear path to a fully automated production line for transceiver assembly was demonstrated – implementing mostly passive assembly steps and reducing the cycle time of the overall transceiver assembly – to our partners, the project reviewers, and the EU project officer. The results achieved, the lessons learned as well as the first implementation of project results into new mass production lines currently in development will allow us to better the performance of our product range for all high-throughput applications.


MASSTART – High-throughput Assembly for Transceivers: An Update
Contributions from Fraunhofer IZM, NVIDIA & ficonTEC

To improve the eco-system for the mass production of photonic devices, the EU-funded MASSTART project set out in 2019 to explore cost-efficient assembly solutions that address the needs of the device manufacturers. In a joint webinar hosted by ficonTEC, project coordinator Fraunhofer IZM and device manufacturer NVIDIA discuss their roles, goals and wish lists for next-generation transceiver manufacturing and how these are addressed within MASSTART.