Lightium to commercialise its photonic platform targeting data center revolution

InnoSuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, has awarded Lightium AG a 2.67 million CHF grant, which will accelerate the commercialisation of Lightium’s proprietary Thin-Film Lithium Niobate (TFLN) platform. This advancement is critical for Europe’s strategic autonomy in next-gen photonic technologies, particularly benefiting the telecommunication and data center sectors amid escalating demands for higher data rates and energy efficiency. Lightium aims to open beta access to its foundry services in Q4 2024, with capabilities ranging from rapid prototyping to volume production.

Data centers face growing challenges due to skyrocketing data volumes and energy consumption fueled by the rise of AI and large language models like ChatGPT. Lightium’s TFLN platform addresses these issues by dramatically increasing communication bandwidth while substantially reducing power requirements. Lightium’s TFLN platform is poised to set new industry standards with capabilities to support data transmission speeds exceeding 1.6 Tb/s and power consumption rates significantly lower than current technologies.

Lightium will use the InnoSuisse funds to transfer its manufacturing process to a commercial CMOS fab, enabling volume production. This will make Lightium the first production-capable player in Europe for TFLN, securing the continent’s strategic independence for the next generation of photonic devices.

“The support from InnoSuisse is not just a financial boost but a validation of our technology’s pivotal role in shaping the future of data communications and energy efficiency,” says Dr Amir Ghadimi, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightium. “Additionally, the versatile nature of our TFLN platform extends its benefits to other applications and markets such as satellite communication, quantum computing, and LIDAR applications. Our open-access foundry model is ideally suited to meet diverse technological needs across these sectors.”

Looking ahead, Lightium has a clear roadmap for the next nine months. The company will collaborate closely with its partners to optimise its PIC manufacturing process and fine-tune the specifications of its process design kit (PDK), the building blocks library of its platform. This intensive work phase will be followed by a significant milestone- the opening of beta access to its TFLN platform by the end of 2024. This step marks a crucial stage in Lightium’s journey towards commercialisation and underscores its commitment to delivering cutting-edge photonic solutions.

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