VLC Designs Transmitter PIC for CiViQ Quantum Communications Project
(SemiconductorToday) VLC Photonics of Valencia, Spain (which has experience with various material platforms including silicon photonics, indium phosphide, silicon nitride, PLC and polymer) has designed a new indium phosphide (InP) PIC for secure quantum communications in networks as a partner in the project CiViQ.
As part of the European Quantum Flagship initiative – and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant no. 820466 – the CiViQ project focuses on cost-efficient, high-integration and high-performance quantum communication technologies to deploy continuous-variable quantum key distribution (QKD) into the optical telecommunications network infrastructure. In this context, PICs can play a crucial role.
In the CiViQ project, VLC is facilitating the transformation of a bulky optical system (built in a lab) into a photonic integrated design circuit layout in a standard 4mm x 6mm cell-size, sufficiently flexible to satisfy the various requirements from QKD system partners. Taking advantage of the ‘generic purpose’ process available for prototyping and concept validation, the chips can then be fabricated through a JePPIX (Joint European Platform for Photonic Integration of Components and Circuits) multi-project wafer (MPW) run of the InP foundry at CiViQ partner Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI) of Berlin, Germany (a research center for mobile and stationary communication networks).