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EFFECT Photonics tapes out world’s first full photonic integration coherent PIC


EFFECT Photonics tapes out world’s first full photonic integration coherent PIC

EINDHOVEN- The Netherlands – March 10, 2020 – Building on its Full Photonic Integration InP wafer scale platforms, EFFECT Photonics has taped out the Manta chip: the world’s first fully integrated coherent PIC targeted at pluggable coherent transceivers for the edge and metro/access networks.

The Manta PIC fully integrates an ultra-narrow linewidth full band tunable laser, 64Gbaud coherent receiver, 64Gbaud coherent transmitter, wavelength locking and on-chip amplification for the transmit and receive paths. This gives unprecedented OSNR performance with power consumption lower than a stand-alone ITLA.

Tim Koene, VP Engineering at EFFECT Photonics, describes the benefits of the approach: “Full Photonic Integration means including all of the needed functions for coherent. In some approaches, the most costly functionalities, notably the laser, amplification and wavelength locking, are not integrated, and this creates optical loss, higher cost and higher assembly complexity. Truly integrating everything allows us to overcome those hurdles and create a high-performance, low-power consumption, low-cost solution for coherent.”

EFFECT Photonics will build small form-factor coherent pluggables optimised for industrial temperature operation. They will be deployed in next generation access networks and be able to provide turnkey coherent transmission over 120km of unamplified links.

James Regan, CEO at EFFECT Photonics, comments on the achievement: “Being able to deliver this single-chip solution in the same industrial-temperature specification, non-hermetic platform, with which we are shipping our tunable SFP+ targeting 5G wireless connectivity, is a game changer. It enables us to execute on our strategy and take the benefits of coherent technology closer than has been possible before to the end user in high-volume applications.”

The Manta PIC is fabricated on EFFECT Photonics’ 3″ InP platform and will be ported to 4″ fabrication later this year. It is set to drive a revolution in cost optimisation for the next generation of coherent networks.


About EFFECT Photonics
Founded in 2010, EFFECT Photonics delivers highly integrated optical communications products based on its Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical System-on-Chip technology. The key enabling technology for DWDM systems is full monolithic integration of all photonic components within a single chip and being able to produce these in volume with high yield at low cost. With this capability, EFFECT Photonics is addressing the need for low cost DWDM solutions driven by the soaring demand for high bandwidth connections between datacenters and back from mobile cell towers. Headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, with additional R&D and manufacturing in South West UK, with sales partners worldwide.

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Chip Engineering Manager

“We grew together with EFFECT Photonics, I started as an engineer and I got promoted to engineering manager of a group of 12 people”

What is the most interesting aspect of working at EFFECT Photonics? And what about your job specifically?

My motivation to come to EFFECT Photonics was to shift from an academic to a business environment. At a company you can focus as a team on a single objective. Instead of being scattered over multiple research areas, all people at EFFECT Photonics focus on a single project and goal. Coming from a PhD where I was the only Dutch candidate, managing a multi-cultural team is no big change for me. I do operate from a Dutch perspective, my team gets the impression that Dutch companies are fairly flat. Although there is a formal management hierarchy, the work environment is very open and friendly. I try to be as approachable as possible. Decisions are the result of discussions with the team and weighing that against other business requirements. As a manager, I can lean on a strong technical background to be able to make correct decisions and guide the team to the best approaches. As my team is quite big, members are expected to be quite independent. This creates a lot of independence within people’s roles.

What advice would you give to someone who is planning to apply at EFFECT Photonics?

What me and my team do, is central to the company. It is a nice position to be in. It means we have a lot of interaction and dependency. Because of this central role, expectations are high and there is pressure to get good results. We deal with this by working very precisely and thoroughly preparing any designs we send out for manufacture. I feel that there is a very solution-focused environment here at EFFECT Photonics, where taking initiative is rewarded. I’d say join us if you want to be a part of a team developing high-tech solutions for the telecommunications industry.

Describe in 3 words what your job is all about.

Challenges, learning, advancement

I joined EFFECT Photonics during its early beginnings in 2014. I had just finished my PhD and was looking for work. I knew the co-founders of the company via the Technical University of Eindhoven and I was able to help them out with some odd jobs here and there. My role initially was very undefined as the company was in its early stages. When the company got its first round of funding, I was brought on for a full-time position. I really grew with the company, initially as an engineer and then I became an engineering manager, where I came to lead an ever-expanding team. I still love the engineering work itself, but managing a team of people is also very rewarding. EFFECT Photonics is a very high-tech environment, there is always a lot of cool stuff going on. Few companies do what we are doing. We are really trying to bring about lower cost solutions, which does come with engineering challenges. We have a very skilled and talented team, and I have full confidence that we will solve these challenges.

What is your biggest highlight of working here so far?

I think for me it is seeing the level of commitment from the team. Every one is prepared to go the extra mile in order to get good results. Additionally, there is a lot of excitement here, there is a buzz when you get new results. The wafer has only been in the office for an hour and you already get messages from colleagues eagerly waiting for the results. It’s this buzz that is a real highlight for me.