ficonTEC Services GmbH of Achim, Germany, and Coherent Solutions Ltd. of Auckland, New Zealand, have entered into a collaborative partnership to advance electro-optical measurement capability for use in volume testing within the manufacturing cycle of integrated photonic devices (PICs).
As optical and electrical technologies become more miniaturized, complex, and increasingly integrated with one another’s underlying architecture, the more inefficient and frustrating it is for process engineers to implement separate electrical and optical test and qualification procedures. To avoid this, engineers require fully-automated systems that can perform complex precision alignment and assembly, as well as combined electro-optical I/O measurements for complex integrated photonic devices – from singulated dies, through to wafer-level and even up to fully-packaged devices.
Coherent Solutions’ broad portfolio of photonic test and measurement instruments includes a line-up of modules for the popular PXI platform that leverage National Instruments’ established LabVIEW graphical programming environment. As ficonTEC’s PCM (ProcessControlMaster) software is also based around LabVIEW, integration of the two is seamless and enables the creation of sophisticated and fully-automated test solutions to match individual requirements.
Alternatively, to achieve the same goal within non-LabVIEW and alternative instrumentation environments, Coherent Solutions additionally offers the same optical measurement capability in a range of compact, modular benchtop and IOT-focused test equipment that can be equally well interfaced to ficonTEC’s process control software. Either approach can be flexibly used by manufacturers to speed up development and production of the latest photonic integrated circuits and devices.
The two companies are initially focusing their sights on manufacturers of modules and components for telecom and datacom, and on systems for testing high-density VCSEL systems as used in 3D optical sensing/imaging applications, such as for automotive lidar and for face recognition modules found in smartphones.
ficonTEC and Coherent Solutions will display the initial results of this collaboration with a live demonstration of a fully-automated photonics test system at NI Week in Austin, TX/USA, from May 20-23, and again at Laser World of Photonics in Munich, Germany, from June 24-27, 2019.
Image: A PXI-based, fully-automated wafer-level test demo-system. The automated prober machine and instrumentation rack are shown left, together with details of the optical PXI front-end modules (right, top) and multi-fiber optical I/O probes positioned over the wafer (right, below).