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AIM Photonics Announce $1.2 Million NSF Awards For PIC Development

 

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a Department of Defense-led public-private partnership headquartered in New York State to advance the nation’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, has announced that three National Science Foundation (NSF) funded grants totaling $1.2 million will enable collaborative photonics-centered R&D with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and University of Delaware (UD), respectively.

"AIM Photonics is thrilled to work with leading academic institutions including RIT, UCSD, and UD on these three separate, NSF-funded projects to collaboratively enable photonics-focused devices and capabilities that can allow for the more efficient identification of materials, as well as enhanced processes for manufacturing complex photonic devices and next-generation computing capabilities. We are proud to be the central driver of photonics-based advances that can significantly improve the technologies our society depends on," said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics.

When product sales depend on being on store shelves at a certain time of the year, you simply can’t risk meeting optical product development milestones. Some companies are cutting their development time in half with virtual prototyping.

"Partnering with AIM Photonics provides NSF-funded researchers unique access to world-class manufacturing facilities, stimulating innovation and enabling faculty to span the spectrum from fundamental research breakthroughs to translational advances in integrated photonics devices and circuits that directly impact society," said Filbert Bartoli, director of the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems in NSF's Directorate for Engineering.

The NSF awarded RIT $423,000 as part of the research project, "PIC: Hybrid Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Neuromorphic Networks," which will focus on realizing high-performance neural networks that will be integrated onto photonic chips for scalable and efficient architectures that, in tandem with integrated electronics, overcome challenges related to photonic memory and amplification--offering a hybrid, high-bandwidth computing approach for applications to autonomous systems, information networks, cybersecurity, and robotics. To develop these architectures, RIT will work with AIM Photonics to use its leading-edge PIC toolset, located at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, NY, and the AIM Photonics TAP facility in Rochester, NY--the world’s first 300mm open access PIC Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility. The project will take place within RIT's Future Photon Initiative (FPI) and Center for Human-Aware AI (CHAI).

This research effort will also provide educational opportunities for elementary through high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and the AIM Photonics Academy will be able to disseminate the project's findings to further increase understanding of this fast-growing area of research.

"We are excited to partner with AIM Photonics on this research project. The hybrid electronic-photonic neuromorphic chips my Co-PI (Professor Dhireesha Kudithipudi) and I are developing are directly enabled by the state-of-the-art PIC and TAP capabilities of AIM Photonics," said project principal investigator, professor Stefan Preble at Rochester Institute of Technology's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.


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