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ASML, NXP Join €100M Funding Round in Smart Photonics
Release time: 2023-07-28

Smart Photonics, a Dutch foundry for photonic integrated circuits (PICs), has secured €100 million in an additional round of financing to extend its manufacturing capabilities and accelerate the development of its PIC technology platforms and its process design kits.

The group of new investors includes semiconductor industry players ASML, NXP and VDL Groep, as well as financial institutions ING, BOP Impact Ventures and Deep Tech Fund. Historical investors include Innovation Industries, BOM, PhotonDelta and KPN Ventures. The Dutch government will provide public funding of €60 million for the PhotonDelta project under the National Growth Fund.

“We believe in the Netherlands as a leading international hub for the development of the fast growing integrated photonics industry,” said Dutch minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. “That’s why we invest both through the National Growth Fund project PhotonDelta in the whole ecosystem and through our dedicated Deep Tech Fund with specific funding for startups and scaleups who focus on innovative complex technology such as Smart Photonics.”

In 2022, the Dutch government gave the green light to PhotonDelta’s ambitious plan to expand the country’s position in advanced photonics circuits. PhotonDelta is a collaborative public-private ecosystem that was set up in 2018 to implement the Dutch National Plan for Integrated Photonics. It designs, develops, and manufactures solutions with integrated photonics technology. By 2030, PhotonDelta aims to create an ecosystem of hundreds of companies, serving customers worldwide through a planned production capacity of more than 100,000 wafers per year.

Within the program, Smart Photonics is responsible for the industrialization of its PIC technology and will offer its technology to the Dutch ecosystem via its design library. In April 2022, Smart Photonics received €75 million of investment.

PICs, also known as photonic chips, integrate photonic functions into microchips to create smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices, the company explained. PICs can process and transmit data much more efficiently than their electronic counterparts. As with traditional chips, the production process is carried out using automatic wafer-scale technology. 

Smart Photonics
(Credit: Smart Photonics)

So far, PhotonDelta has invested in companies such as New Origin, Scantinel Photonics, Smart Photonics, Delta Diagnostics, LioniX InternationalQuix Quantum and Effect Photonics. By mid-April 2023, PhotonDelta had, along with a consortium of investors, invested €335 million into photonics companies in total.

PhotonDelta announced this week it had moved its offices in Eindhoven to accommodate its expanding team and support the next phase of growth.