Integrated Photonics

We’re currently living in a technological revolution where the generation of data and sensing devices is rapidly accelerating. Electronic microchip technology on its own cannot keep pace, and therefore requires additional photonic functionalities. For that reason, the EU has recognized integrated photonics as a key enabling technology and incorporated it into the EU Chips Act.

Photonics is similar to electronics. However, instead of electrons, it uses photons to transfer information. Photonic technology detects, generates, transports and processes light. Current uses include lasers, sensors, and fibre-optic networks. Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) combine two or more photonic functions into a single chip to create new, faster, and more energy efficient devices.

Leveraging the power of light

Leveraging the power of light, PICs are highly effective at processing and transmitting data – sensing with the highest level of precision. They are also integrated alongside traditional electronic chips and applications across a range of industries. The combination with integrated photonics offers a sustainable solution to society’s energy consumption and technological challenges such as the expansion of 5G data networks and data centres, safer autonomous driving vehicles, testing at the point-of-care, and more efficient food production.

Frontrunner position

The Netherlands is a frontrunner in integrated photonics with a significant advantage over other countries in the world. Our knowledge base is very sound as Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente and Delft University of Technology have been doing research into photonics for over two decades now. Chip development costs have been drastically reduced and the emergence of various spin-offs confirms the successful valorisation and contributes to accelerating the time to market.

The Dutch government has recognized the technology as one of the most promising technologies for the Netherlands and gave PhotonDelta the green light in 2018 for the implementation of the National Plan for Integrated Photonics. In May 2022, PhotonDelta’s proposal for the Dutch National Growth Fund was successfully awarded €1.1 billion to fuel this six-year initiative to cement and expand the country’s position in integrated photonics.

Backed by 30 years of research, the PhotonDelta ecosystem offers a robust end-to-end supply chain for integrated photonics from design and fabrication to packaging, testing and module development. Connecting pioneers in the field with investors, and viable markets, PhotonDelta helps to take the industry forward with funding, investments, marketing services and R&D roadmaps.

The ecosystem offers the two production platforms Indium Phosphide (InP) and Silicon Nitride (SiN), plus a pilot line for prototypes using Silicon Photonics (SiPh). By combining and configuring different chip types, including existing electronic chips, in a hybrid or heterogeneous integration, it is possible to leverage the strengths of each. Taking this complementary approach to integration addresses the demand for increasingly sophisticated solutions.

Members of High Tech NL Semiconductors

Integrated photonics is here to stay and will be more and more integrated with electronic chips requiring, new processes, packaging techniques and new equipment, amongst others. The Netherlands has significant experience in the domains mentioned, and most of these companies are a member of High Tech NL and its cluster Semiconductors. Within our network, we connect these companies to each other, to programs and to governmental support.

It is our strong belief that cooperation between companies, institutes, universities, and governments will strengthen the Dutch semiconductor- and integrated photonics- clusters enabling new solutions for health, transport, safety and other societal and technological challenges.

We would love to share ideas
Questions about opportunities, collaboration or High Tech NL Semiconductors?
Contact cluster manager Tom van der Dussen via +31 (0) 6 – 307 822 34 or

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