PHIX is ready for the next phase of growth through additional investments and expansion of facilities
Artist impression of the new PHIX facility on Hengelosestraat
Photonic chip technology has received significant attention over the last couple of months and is increasingly
recognized as a crucial technological breakthrough. To continue to support our customers, PHIX is proud to have
secured €3 million in new capital for the short term and €20 million for the long term from the National Growth
Fund. In addition, PHIX will occupy a new building to support further industrialization and scaling of photonic chip
packaging in large volumes.
The growth of integrated photonics
Photonic chips enable the creation of devices that are substantially faster and more energy efficient than their electronic chip counterparts. They currently play an important role in increasing the speed and reducing the energy consumption per bit in the datacom and telecom industry and open the door to a huge range of new applications including quantum computing, point-of-care medical diagnostics, autonomous driving, food safety, and many more.
Since the start of operations in 2018, PHIX Photonics Assembly has been building functional modules based on customer PICs (Photonic Integrated Circuits). This involves very precise alignment and bonding to other components, such as optical fibers, other chips, and electronics, as well as providing thermal and mechanical stability and sealing. In just a few years, PHIX has established itself as one of the world leaders in this crucial position in the integrated photonics ecosystem. As the volumes of PICs are increasing, PHIX is preparing for the next phase of growth to support its customers and the further industrialization of PIC based technologies in Europe.
New investment round
To continue the rapid growth trajectory, PHIX secured a new investment of €3 million that is split between €1.5 million in equity and €1.5 million in loans for new equipment. Only existing shareholders participated, demonstrating the confidence they have in PHIX’s growth and results. With the investment PHIX is able to further develop its automated packaging capabilities and increase capacity to continue to support the rapid growth of their existing and new customers.
“PHIX plays a key role in ramping-up the adoption of integrated photonics,” says Nard Sintenie, Partner at Innovation Industries. “With our latest investment, PHIX is ready for the next phase of growth.”
National Growth Fund
As cornerstone of the PhotonDelta integrated photonics ecosystem, PHIX secured €20 million from the National Growth Fund (Nationaal Groeifonds). The photonics program involves a total investment of €1.1 billion to build 200 start-ups, scale up production, create new applications for photonic chips, and develop infrastructure and talent. Within this program PHIX takes a key role by being responsible for the industrialization of packaging and photonic chip assembly, in support of the broader Dutch ecosystem. The €20 million subsidy that PHIX receives in the program is part of a bigger growth plan of €40 million in the next 5 to 6 years, mainly to be invested in scaling of production.
One of the core pillars of the National Growth Fund is further industrializing the supply chain of photonic chips,” says Ewit Roos, CEO at PhotonDelta. “PHIX has the people and the technology needed to integrate different photonic and electronic technologies in an efficient way. These back-end activities are essential to scale up the industry. Therefore, PhotonDelta is determined to provide continuous support to PHIX and their growth ambitions.
To support further industrialization and scaling of operations, PHIX will move to a new building in the Enschede Kennispark in the first quarter of 2023. The 1800 m2 area building on Hengelosestraat will be renovated to make room for at least 600 m2 of production facilities and 600 m2 of auxiliary workspaces, with plenty of room for expansion. The production facilities will house up to ISO 5 cleanrooms to ensure optimal working environments for the various stages of photonics assembly.
Albert Hasper says: “The finalization of the recent investment round and our choice to move to the new production facilities clearly show our ambitions to grow our business and to enable our worldwide customers to further grow their business. In addition, with the support of the National Growth Fund, we are able to further scale up and professionalize our production capabilities in The Netherlands for the high-volume packaging of photonic chips.”