Montreal-basedAEPONYX, which has already made an impression in the next-gen PON market, has been accepted intoSilicon Catalyst, a Silicon Valley semiconductor startup incubator. AEPONYX plans to leverage the incubator's resources to advance its work in combining MEMS and silicon photonics.
AEPONYX has been particularly active in WDM PON passive products (as described in this video on the Lightwave Channel). Now the company plans to focus attention on further developing a platform that involves the use of high-performance optical waveguides that are moved and bent on top of planar electrostatic MEMS to create micro optical switches. The company already has six pending patents covering the concept, the manufacturing process, and applications.
On its website, AEPONYX touts use of the micro optical switches for tunable transceivers and optical circuit switching applications. The approach is 100X faster, 10X cheaper, and 10X smaller than 3D MEMS alternatives, the company asserts.
The micro optical switch work isn't a complete departure from AEPONYX's past. The technology could enable tunable transceivers for NG-PON2 and power-split WDM-PON applications, the company points out.
At the incubator, AEPONYX will be able to collaborate with such Silicon Catalyst partners as Synopsys, TSMC, Keysight, IMEC, Advantest, PDF Solutions Inc., and Autodesk.
"We are proud of being the first Canadian company invited by Silicon Catalyst," said AEPONYX CEO Philippe Babin. "Developing MEMS-based silicon photonics chips is a long and cost-intensive process. The expertise and in-kind support from Silicon Catalyst will significantly reduce our required investment and will secure our execution plan."
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