🔸Last Wednesday, the kick-off meeting of project PHOENIX (“Ferroelectric PHOtonics ENablIng novel functionalities and enhanced performance of neXt generation PICs”, funded by the EU Horizon Europe programme (GA 101070690), was held at the Faculty club of KU Leuven (KUL). Project Partners Lumiphase (CH), Optalysys (UK), IBM Research (CH and IL), Nanophotonics Technology CenterUniversitat Politècnica de València (UPV) (ES), and PNO Innovation (Spain), coordinated by KUL (BE) will collaborate during the next 3 years to create building blocks for the next generation of encryption and computing hardware. They will leverage compact photonic integrated circuits (PIC) offering a continuous and efficient control over optical signals.

🔹The PIC chips are based on Lumiphase’s proprietary technology, and enhanced with novel functionalities using materials developed at KUL and UPV. Epitaxial technology will be advanced through the realization and upscaling of high-quality oxide thin-films.

🔸The developed technology will be used to demonstrate its benefits in four high-impact emerging applications: 1) fully homomorphic encryption (Optalysys, IBM Research), 2) 5G infrastructure (Optalysys), 3) inference of deep neural networks (IBM Research), and 4) training of deep neural networks (IBM Research). The validation of the developed technologies will be completed with an extrapolation to benchmark against representative existing systems and a roadmap for photonic-electronic integration.

🔹The project will perform a market analysis and a techno-economic evaluation to define business models and exploitation plans that ensure the sustainability of the PHOENIX platform to reduce innovation-to market-time and R&I costs for disruptive high-tech SMEs and maximize the impact of the 4 user cases demonstrators.