The latest news and developments
ficonTEC news, press releases, product developments and corporate updates available here
Here we provide a list of the recent press releases, news items and other developments. For more details, simply follow the link, or for more product-related enquiries, simply get in touch via the details in the footer below.
ficonTEC and PHIX Photonics partner to enable high-volume manufacturing
In order to further enhance their ability to scale up production to better match customer needs, PHIX has commissioned ficonTEC to build flexible machine systems for a range of chip-to-chip assembly tasks. With these systems, PHIX is also in the position to offer process development and manufacturing services on ficonTEC equipment to ficonTEC customers. Process development, testing and scalable production can either take place at PHIX in Enschede, The Netherlands, or at the customer’s own location. Read more …
Statement – ficonTEC implements recommendations to help combat Covid-19
Dear valued customers and partners,
we at ficonTEC are committed to showing and maintaining solidarity with the global efforts being made to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Our first and foremost responsibility is toward the health and safety of our employees and their families at all of our locations in Germany, Ireland, Estonia, China, Thailand and US, additionally to our customers, suppliers and business partners around the globe, but also to the relevant regional communities and their – sadly – overburdened (health) services. Overall, we feel that there are two main areas where ficonTEC can address these responsibilities. Read more…
R&D – OptiK-Net to develop direct flexprint technology for cost-effective integration of optical waveguides and electronics
ficonTEC has entered into a collaboration tasked with the development of flex print technology for polymer-based optical waveguides for optical communications networks, and the application of the approach for the production of integrated electro-optical PDB-flexprint components for short-reach networks. The Optik-Net project [ link to ] (available in German only) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education & Research ( in German, the BMBF ) and comprises nine different leading organizations located in Germany and Switzerland. Further information is available here and here (both available in German only).
Online video – ficonTEC delivers CL1500 in support of the largest cross-site R&D Cooperation for Micro- and Nanoelectronics in Europe
The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics in cooperation with the Leibniz institutes IHP and FBH together form the ‘Research Fab Microelectronics Germany’ (Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland). They offer a unique range of expertise and infrastructure that is designed to bridge the gap between basic research and customer-specific product development, with applications in LiDAR, 5G infrastructure, sensor systems and other opto-electronic systems. The ficonTEC CUSTOMLINE system, featuring 9 different application modules, will assist with position-&-attach and pick-&-place tasks.
Machine Learning for Advanced Manufacturing
ficonTEC Service GmbH of Achim, Germany, and Adapdix Corporation of Pleasanton, CA/USA, have entered into a strategic agreement to implement Adapdix’ EdgeOps™ platform technology within ficonTEC’s advanced photonics production systems. With the integration of an AI / Machine Learning layer to monitor, predict and appropriately adapt operation-critical process steps, overall system reliability and performance is improved, thus creating a further level of sophistication and differentiation for ficonTEC’s machine systems …read more
Mixed-signal electro-optical I/O testing for integrated photonics
ficonTEC Service GmbH of Achim, Germany, and Coherent Solutions Ltd. of Auckland, New Zealand, have entered into a collaborative partnership to advance electro-optical measurement capability for use in volume testing within the manufacturing cycle of integrated photonic devices (PICs) …read more
MASSTART – Mass manufacturing of transceivers for the Terabit/s era
MASSTART is an EU-funded H2020 project pursued by a consortium of renown European organizations. Coordinated by the Fraunhofer IZM, it is due to run from January 2019 for 36 months.
The inherent issue of limited throughput and the associated high cost in photonics assembly & test processes 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. The MASSTART project will tackle exactly this problem with a well-chosen consortium dedicated to the development of a high-throughput assembly line for transceivers…Read more
National Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line
Tyndall National Institute and ficonTEC Service, along with other industry partners including Eblana Photonics, Faz Technology, mBryonics and Sanmina, have come together to build the National Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line, an integrated photonics manufacturing ecosystem located within a single state-of-the-art facility and designed to advance disruptive photonic technologies from concept to commercialisation.
The National Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line, located in Tyndall, with an initial investment of €6m and a team of 15, will engage with sectors such as MedTech, Life Sciences and Communications. Tyndall is already the location of the PIXAPP Pilot Line Gateway and the Irish Photonics Integration Centre, which collectively represents over 160 photonics researchers and provides access to leading-edge technology, highly-skilled trainees and valuable infrastructure. Read more
InPulse – Indium-Phosphide Pilot Line
InPulse is an EC-funded H2020 Manufacturing Pilot Line project for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) utilizing indium phosphide (InP), starting January 2019 and running for 48 months. InP PICs offer game-changing performance capabilities across multiple market sectors. The goal of InPulse is to put in place the technological and operational processes to accelerate the uptake of PIC technology in new markets, align scalable and interlocking services and value chains, accelerate time to market with predictive design for fewer and faster design cycles, and to offer foundry processes at TRL7, sharing process optimization across products.
Within InPulse, ficonTEC will drive forward the acceleration and standardization of PIC test procedures to high-throughput processes that are compatible across measurement domains. This will be accomplished using customizable, yet standardized scripting formats for testing and characterization on the optical and radio-frequency domain. Testing can be accelerated by utilizing state-of-the-art robotic handling and highly-optimized optical alignment procedures.
ficonTEC to speak at 6th Workshop on Photonic Integrated Circuits at OFC, San Diego, CA/USA
The advent of 100Gbps and beyond in both longhaul as well as datacom marked the breakthrough of photonic integration in a broader sense. As a result of this, PICs are now also being used e.g. in sensing, life sciences, and military applications and there is thus a growing group of people that are starting to design and use photonic chips. However, the PIC value chain can be complex as one needs to make choices for the material system, the foundry and/or broker, the design and layout software, assembly and packaging solutions and so on. The aim of the PIC workshop is to bring together all the relevant players independent of material system and to provide an in-depth overview that allows you to make the right trade offs and to get to know the key PIC service providers.
Torsten Vahrenkamp, ficonTEC’s CEO, will give a talk within the Packaging session.
Venue: Room 29ABCD at the San Diego Convention Center, Wednesday March 6, 2019, 5:45 – 8:30pm
TERIPHIC – Moving on to Terabit transceiver modules, and how to assemble them
As part of its on-going and intensive involvement in international, publicly funded R&D projects, ficonTEC R&D announces its involvement in TERIPHIC, an EU H2020 project starting January 2019 and due to run for 36 months. Having kicked-off in January in Berlin, the goal is to go beyond current 400G transceiver module standards and push development to Terabit transceiver modules having at least 2km reach. To achieve this, TERIPHIC will leverage photonic integration concepts and develop a seamless chain of component fabrication, assembly automation and module characterization processes as the basis for high-volume production lines.
ficonTEC will contribute by optimizing assembly processes and hardware on a ficonTEC CL1500 system already in use at the Fraunhofer HHI, thus supporting the development of the required automated assembly hardware appropriate for high-volume manufacturing for as yet to be detailed module-specific align-&-attach processes. In the final stages of the project, ficonTEC will put forward a concept for the entire high-volume production line. Ultimately, the new transceiver design introduced by TERIPHIC will allow significant cost savings, not only due to assembly automation at the TOSA/ROSA stage, but also at the packaging level, and resulting in a cost below 1€/Gbps for the transceiver modules.
More details can be found at Fraunhofer HHI and via the EC’s CORDIS website.
ficonTEC to host PhotonicNet’s ‘Aufbau – und Verbindungstechnik’ Workshop
Für die Entwicklung wettbewerbsfähiger Produkte wie z.B. Smartphones, sind heute Technologien zur Erhöhung der Integrationsdichte und Systemintegration Voraussetzung. Die Anforderungen an Komponenten wie Leiterplatten und somit an die Fertigung haben sich in den letzten Jahren extrem gewandelt. Ziel des Workshops ist es, einen Überblick über die neusten Entwicklungen im Bereich des Packaging zu geben. Neben allgemeinen Trends in der Aufbau- und Verbindungstechnik liegt der diesjährige Schwerpunkt in der Produktion und Automatisierungstechnik für die Herstellung von optoelektronischen Komponenten. Der Workshop richtet sich sowohl an Entwickler als auch an Anwender aus den Bereichen Laser Packaging, Optik, Elektronik und Mikrosystemtechnik.
ficonTEC to speak at 4th PIC Training, Santa Clara, CA/USA
After three successful PIC Training workshops in 2015 – 2017, a fourth training has now organized, this time in Santa Clara, CA/USA. Taking place in the week before Photonics West 2019, during the training participants will simulate, design, and layout PICs using a range of software tools. The training also addresses all key material systems (Si Photonics, InP-based, SiO2/Si3N4). The program has the full support of over 20 companies that span the complete photonic integration ecosystem, and includes several industry guest speakers as well as extensive networking opportunities, for example, in the form of facilitated group dinners. Ignazio Piacentini, ficonTEC’s Director of Business Development, presents as Industry Guest Speaker on Thursday, Jan. 31.
iQonic project technology provider
ficonTEC is part of iQonic project and is fulfilling the role of technology provider. The company has wide experience with photonics assembly and testing processes and it is supporting the project in the design of a reconfigurable process chain and in the developement of a new type of handling tool interface for optoelectronic assembly processes.
iQonic consortium gathered to visit ficonTEC facilities in Achim, Germany. The agenda of the day included an introduction into ficonTEC, a guided tour through the assembly hall of the company and a final open technical discussion among the partners.
Beckermus Technologies & ficonTEC to promote relationship
Beckermus Technologies Ltd. is the leading micro-assembly services provider in Israel. By utilizing ficonTEC photonics assembly and test machines as part of their manufacturing system toolkit, Beckermus supplies micro-electronics, micro-optics and photonic device assembly services to customers worldwide. As part of an on-going relationship together with ficonTEC, Beckermus recently purchased a CL1500 machine system equipped for active alignment. ficonTEC’s CustomLine products are a range of modular, multi-purpose assembly and test cells sporting the largest range of optional modules available to any ficonTEC platform. Both organizations have agreed to give the relationship more visibility, both publicly in print/online, as well as in presentations given at trade events and conferences. For further information on the services provided by Beckermus, visit www.beckermus.com.
Further projects and collaborations for ficonTEC
ficonTEC continues to expand its involvement in international projects & initiatives dedicated to the development of photonic device manufacturing, making vital contributions to progress and at the same time helping ficonTEC to stay ahead of evolving industry manufacturing needs.
Firstly, CALADAN will demonstrate how integration of lasers and electronics onto a PIC can be done fully at the wafer-level using the established micro-transfer printing technique, thus eliminating this assembly bottleneck. GaAs quantum dot lasers and 130nm SiGe BiCMOS 56Gbaud-capable driver and receiver electronics will be transfer printed onto silicon photonic 300mm wafers. Starting from proven concepts in PIXAPP, a novel fast fiber attachment process will be demonstrated that reduces the time required for fiber attachment by an order of magnitude.
Secondly, as part of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) in Ireland, €4,1m has been given to support a physical Photonic Packaging Pilot Line designed to fill the gap that exists today, i.e. to fabricate tens to hundreds of units. The Photonic Packaging Pilot Line Hub will a) develop packaging designs tailored to fast cost-effective packaging processes and equipment and b) develop and install next generation packaging equipment (including test) with reduced cycle-times. This is just one of many of ficonTEC’s collaborations together with the Tyndall National Institute.
PIC Players Meeting
As part of the ‘Photonic Integration Week’ Event, to be held on January 14-15, 2019, in Valencia, Spain, Torsten Vahrenkamp, Owner/CEO at ficonTEC Service GmbH, will present the latest developments for assembly and test of integrated optics devices. PIW brings together experts around photonic integration technologies for tele/datacom, sensing and bio-technology applications, and 2019 will be it’s 3rd meeting.
ficonTEC Service GmbH of Achim, Germany, has announced a comprehensive modernization of their product strategy. The new strategy allows ficonTEC to properly address increasing customer focus on in-line production line applications, while at the same time retaining continuity for existing customers, commitments and projects with current stand-alone machines. Read more
ficonTEC sees Rapid Growth in Asia
With the global installation base hitting 500 machines only last summer, ficonTEC has now easily sailed past the 600 mark within the first half of 2018. A major contribution to this growth originates with demand in the Far East, in particular China: For Silicon Photonics assembly and testing applications, more than 20 fully-automatic systems have been delivered in 2018 alone, and in the same timeframe, the overall installation base within China has increased more than 50% over 2017. Lastly, in 2018 the first fully-automatic packaging production line was successfully installed.
To find out what ficonTEC can do for your photonics assembly application, come and talk to us at CIOE (www.cioe.cn, Booth #1A13-8), Sept. 5 – 8 in Shenzhen, PR China.
Zukunftstag – Future Day 2018
ficonTEC actively support the training of young people. It is never too early to raise interest for technical job profiles. For instance through various events like the Future Day which took place last week. We again offered an interesting programme and provided a deep insight into our company. By participating into the Future Day more and more young people are gaining entry to the MINT disciplines. The future is now!
PIC Awards Finalist
ficonTEC has been chosen as a finalist for the PIC Awards 2018. This award recognises advances in the development and application of key materials systems driving today’s photonic integrated circuits and providing a stepping stone to future devices. The PIC Awards will take place at PIC International conference on the 10th April 2018, Brussels.
New ficonTEC Subsidiary
ficonTEC Eesti has expanded their staff count. As of the end of 2017 there are now seven employees based in the new office in Tallinn’s Tehnopol Center (in Estonia).
ficonTEC becomes member of VDMA sector association EMINT
ficonTEC contributes to PIXAPP pilot line
PIXAPP is the world’s first open-access Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) Assembly and Packaging Pilot line and helps users exploit the breakthrough advantages of PIC technologies. PIXAPP consists of a highly-interdisciplinary team of Europe’s leading industrial & research organizations and provides users with single-point access to PIC assembly and packaging. PIXAPP bridges the ‘valley of death’ often associated with moving from prototyping to low-volume fabrication, by giving companies an easy-access route to transferring R&D results to the market.
Within PIXAPP, ficonTEC develops a cross-platform beyond state-of-the-art PIC wafer and die level tester. The double-sided fiber alignment engine will be capable of performing ultrafast coupling and transmission measurements on a variety of platforms like, e.g., silicon on insulator, InP, and TripleX. In addition, a general and modular assembly concept will be developed on which all demonstrators within PIXAPP from telecom, Datacom, BioSensor as well as fiber Sensors can be assembled.
ficonTEC has been honored with the 2017 Supplier Award from a leading global information and communication technologies solutions provider.
ficonTEC R&D Center
ficonTEC’s new R&D Center had its opening. Not far from ficonTEC’s Headquarters, the new R&D Center has expanded into new premises, thus allowing us to secure innovative product developments in cooperation with both customers and funded projects.
EPIC workshop in Achim
ficonTEC successfully hosted an hosted EPIC workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to bring to together equipment manufacturers and SMEs to discuss the small- and medium-volume production of opto-electronic components, and to identify potential bottlenecks in process automation.
ficonTEC: winner of Digitalisation Award
Digitalisation und Industry 4.0 are terms that are on everyone’s lips. However, their importance and the dimension of upcoming changes have not yet arrived in the minds of corporate management and in corporate practice. A digital strategy is the first step into the direction of digital transformation.
Opto-electronics has become one of the most important of these innovative driving forces.
ficonTEC won the ARTIE innovation award in the category ‘digitalisation’ during the ARTIE Expert Conference 2017 , and is proud of having been honored as a company with high innovative strength in the region. ARTIE is a regional network for technology, innovation and development. Read more
Rewarding excellence, innovation and success within the photonic integrated circuit industry
ficonTEC has been chosen as a finalist for the PIC Awards 2017 by the PIC Awards governing committee in the category ‘Advances in Manufacturing’. The awards ceremony will take place at PIC International Conference on March 7, 2017, Brussels, Belgium.
During the trade shows smt and Sensor + Test in Nuremberg, as well as Laser World of Photonics and Productronica in Munich, ficonTEC presented the latest trends to industry experts. The focus for all events was on demonstrating innovative developments and the latest applications. This was supported by a live machine demonstration, where interested visitors got the chance to take a peek at the complexity of the individual systems. More events
Various other events in USA, China, Israel and Sweden also offered our guests fascinating insights into the world of photonics.
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