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Scintil Photonics Raises €4 Million In First-round Funding

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Funds will enable company to accelerate commercial integration of III-V semiconductors on silicon

Scintil Photonics, a Grenoble-based developer of silicon photonic fully integrated circuits including laser integration, has raised €4 million ($4.4M) in a first-round funding. Supernova Invest, Innovacom and Bpifrance are lead investors on the round. They were joined by Credit Agricole Alpes Développement and endowment Fund Foreis.

The proceeds will be used to develop prototypes (800Gbit/sec transceiver photonic circuits) in commercial semiconductor foundries in order to sample strategic customers in the data centre market. The team and development partnerships, including those with CEA-Leti in France and the University of Toronto in Canada, will be strengthened.

The success of this first tranche of funding reflects investor interest and confidence in the technology and the company, founded less than a year ago. Prior to its establishment, in November 2018, by CEO Sylvie Menezo, previously with CEA-Leti, and chairman Pascal Langlois, former CEO of Tronics Microsystems, the start-up project, incubated at CEA-Leti, received initial start-up funding as a winner of i-Lab 2018, a French government-sponsoredinnovation competition hosted by Bpifrance.

“We are very pleased to have the support of leading French investors to further develop to an industrial level our innovative silicon photonic integrated circuits,” said Sylvie Menezo,CEO of Scintil Photonics. “Integrating lasers onto silicon photonic circuits, mass produced in commercial silicon photonics foundries using standard manufacturing processes, is a key technology asset of Scintil. This will open up many opportunities, not only in optical communications, but also in computing and sensing applications, such as Lidar. We look forward to engaging with prospective customers and demonstrating the functionality and performance enhancements that Scintil Photonics can bring. With this first funding round, Scintil will be able to have its demonstrator and prototype circuits manufactured in commercial foundries, which will greatly accelerate our time to market.”

Drawing upon over 15 years of research on lasers, silicon photonics and 3D packaging conducted at CEA-Leti, Scintil's technology enables higher speed optical communication through the integration of multi-wavelength lasers with silicon photonics standard technology. It also reduces implementation costs by avoiding several packaging steps. Besides developing solutions for high-speed data transmission, Scintil Photonics also targets sensing applications, such as Lidar, an enabling technology for autonomous detection and mobility.

Improving data centers efficiency is one of industry's major challenges today.

"We firmly believe in Scintil Photonics' ability to implement the seamless integration of III- V semiconductor material on silicon. In particular, the collective manufacturing of lasers, reducing the cost of mass-producing fully integrated photonic circuits while improving the energy efficiency and other critical parameters, is a key differentiator in penetrating the market of data centre transceivers and sensors. It matches perfectly Supernova Invest'sambition to support game-changing Deep Tech startups,” said Christophe Desrumaux, investment director at Supernova Invest.

“Scintil Photonics aims to develop optical data interconnections over 800 Gbit/s at a very competitive cost and is uniquely positioned to address industry challenges in very high- speed data communication. This investment is an excellent illustration of our commitment to supporting Deep Tech companies,” said Marion Aubry, investment director at Bpifrance'sDigital Venture team.

“Today, 80 percent of data transmission occurs over short distances and inside data centres. Fo rthis type of application, higher bit rates, cost and power consumption are critical factors. Scintil Photonics' technology and products address those challenges and the company is a great example of the highly innovative digital start-ups and disruptive technologies Innovacom successfully supports,” said Vincent Deltrieu, partner at Innovacom.

“Led by an expert and knowledgeable team, Scintil is able to propose its leading-edge solution in a booming market. We are delighted to support this high-potential start-up,”said Rami Hassoun, investment manager at Crédit Agricole Alpes Développement.

“Foreis is very proud to contribute to the development of Scintil Photonics, a promising venture in high-speed silicon photonics solutions, which will help create innovation and employment in the semiconductors industry in France,” said Jean-Yves Muller, president of the endowment Fund Foreis.


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