For Immediate Release: April 10, 2017
Laura Magee (ESD) |  | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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AIM Photonics Presents Cutting-Edge Integrated Photonics Technology Developments to Packed House at OFC 2017, the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition

AIM Photonics’ first Technology Summit draws hundreds from around the globe to hear firsthand about industry leading PDK/MPW programs, in addition to TAP facility and project updates

ALBANY, NY – Promoting the numerous opportunities stemming from the Department of Defense-led photonics institute, AIM Photonics announced today its involvement in the successful technology summit of pioneering researchers and collaborating scientists from a number of AIM Photonics corporate and academic partners at the internationally recognized Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) 2017 conference and exhibition in Los Angeles, California.  The 14,500 attendees to the world’s leading conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals were able to learn about AIM Photonics’ leading-edge resources, members, programs and technology development.
AIM Photonics presented significant integrated silicon photonics-based research and development presentations, featuring updates on the industry-leading photonics Process Design Kit (PDK) and Multi Project Wafer (MPW), as well as information about how to take part in these programs. AIM Photonics leaders also provided updates on the Test Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility to be located in Rochester, New York, in addition to key project updates on sensors, packaging, and advanced test operations. First announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo with Vice President Joe Biden in July 2015, AIM Photonics is helping to secure the nation and region’s leadership in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing. It is part of the overall Finger Lakes Forward revitalization effort—the region’s strategic plan for economic growth, which places an emphasis on the industry cluster of optics, photonics, and imaging to realize the region’s full potential and act as a core driver of jobs and output growth.

“The turnout at the AIM Photonics Technology Summit was amazing, and it is a testament to the products and outreach AIM Photonics has put forward in just under a year-and-a-half,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO and SUNY Poly Vice President of Research. “With AIM Photonics providing innovative approaches to advance this exciting industry, it is clear that this initiative is hitting its stride.”
During the Summit, which took place from March 19-23, participants gained insight into the PDK program and learned how easy it is to participate and gain access to the PDK.
“We’ve spent the better part of over a year building this Process Library with all the top EDA companies, and we are really pleased with the results,” said Brett Attaway, AIM Photonics EPDA Executive Director. “The response has been phenomenal and we look forward to supporting all interested parties as much as possible.”
Following the design automation summary, Douglas Coolbaugh, AIM Photonics COO, detailed the various Multi Project Wafers (MPW) available through AIM Photonics, and highlighted a new smaller chip offering which features a cost-effective entry fee of only $25,000.00. This is a result of significant work with members and non-member interested parties.
“We’ve been very active in benchmarking and listening to the voice of our members and customers,” said Coolbaugh. “It helped us better understand the needs and gaps that customers say exist in similar MPW programs. As a result, we’ve designed a very broad and flexible program with options only available through AIM Photonics. It truly is the most advanced silicon photonics MPW program available today.”
Many people in attendance were anxiously waiting to hear updates on AIM Photonics’ TAP facility. Dr. Coolbaugh and Ed White, AIM Photonics Corporate Outreach Executive, provided details about some of the advanced tooling being prepared for installation later this fall, including leading-edge silicon photonics full 300mm wafer, die, and module packaging processes developed by AIM Photonics and its partners. These tools will make the AIM Photonics TAP facility the first and only open access integrated silicon photonics Test, Assembly, and Packaging facility of its kind in the world when it opens later this year.
“You could feel the buzz in the air at the show about AIM Photonics’ TAP facility.  Many are interested in how and when they can participate,” said Ed White, AIM Photonics Corporate Outreach Executive. “Our message that anyone can participate regardless of membership has many excited in anticipation of our facility grand opening.”

In addition, conference attendees gained insight into three cutting-edge technology development projects based across various member organizations. IBM’s Wilfried Haensch detailed work on Advanced Optical High-Throughput Photonics Packaging, while Keren Bergman of Columbia University presented updates on work related to photonics testing automation. Peter Goetz from the Naval Research Lab discussed the development of Universal Components & Microfluidic Systems for Integrated Photonic Chemical & Biological Sensors. All three are members working on Key Technology Manufacturing Areas and/or Manufacturing Centers of Excellence. These are critical technology focus areas that AIM Photonics centers on to ensure advancement of the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology and manufacturability in the future.

“AIM Photonics is paving the way for next-generation PIC solutions with a unique public-private partnership model which continues to spur exciting growth opportunities throughout New York State and across the U.S.,” said Keren Bergman, Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. “We are not only eager to share the latest progress related to the development of tester automation, for example, but also how this story reflects a growing, collaborative business framework that offers untold potential for photonics businesses across the country.”

In addition to the various presentations at the summit, AIM Photonics researchers and partners also exhibited at a booth to the more than 14,000 people who attended the conference.
“The booth and summit were a great success and booth traffic was non-stop,” said Frank Tolic, AIM Photonics Chief Marketing Officer. “The interest in AIM Photonics continues to grow at a significant pace and many leaving the summit were asking for more. We plan to offer another opportunity to learn about this exciting work very soon, so stay tuned.”
AIM Photonics will be exhibiting at SEMICON West 2017 from July 11 to 13, at the annual event, which is held in San Francisco, California. AIM plans a follow-up Summit, in addition to a number of other events later in the year. Follow AIM Photonics on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to learn when the next technology summit date and time is announced. 
Presentations from the OFC summit can be viewed on AIM Photonics website at
About AIM Photonics
AIM Photonics is one of nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in a technology that is both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return-on-investment to the U.S. economy. For information about AIM Photonics, visit
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia, and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available  here.