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HePIC aims at supporting the device level of programmable optical networks and the flexible WDM and SDM transmission layer with a focus on energy-efficient photonic hardware accelerators for advanced signal processing in classical and quantum communications.

Project objectives are:

  • Development of assembled photonic integrated sub-systems through hybrid and heterogeneous photonic and electronic integration
  • Coordination of shared access to multi-wafer projects foundry runs and PIC design assistance

HePIC is part of Spoke 1 – Pervasive and Photonic Network Technologies and Infrastructures

WP1-Management Preliminary contacts with silicon photonic foundries and LNOI foundries, acquisition of preliminary information on the management of the foundry runs, NDA documentation, payments, etc. Analysis of the possibility to involve partners of RESTART interested in PIC. Preparation and distribution of a PIC survey form. PoliMI recruited 1 PhD, Andres Ivan Martinez Rojas (male) SSSA recruited 1 RTD-A, Gaurav Pandey (male) and 1 PhD, Valentina Gemmato (female) WP2 - PICs Design Design activities on LNOI platform: integrated optical phased arrays for on-chip communication, OPO and modulators. Waveguide issues analysis (loss and polarization) WP3- Control Layer Acquisition of instrumentation: MULTILANE: 4-Lane, 58 GBd PAM4, 400G BERT, laser for optical characterization, optical table. Activities on electronic-photonic monoliotic integration. WP4- Integration and packaging Analysis of equipment for Laser solder for flip chip assembly station and Nanoscribe upgrade.
  • New collaboration between three national groups (PoliMI, PoliBA and SSSA) are ongoing.
  • Consolidation and upgrade of instrumentation in the laboratories of the three partners for characterization and fabrication of photonic devices.
  • Recruitment of new and experienced personnel.
  • 8 National research groups expressed interest for receiving custom PIC in SOI and LNOI technologies for their projects. More groups are expected to join within the Cascaded Calls, especially from Companies and startups.
Scientific, Industrial and Exploitable Results:
  • First demonstration of monolithic integration of photonic and electronic devices on a silicon photonic commercial platform with zero-changes process flow (see publications).
  • The foundry AMF (Singapore) expressed the interest for the achievement.
  • Preliminary results on demonstrator “General purpose photonic processor for advanced telecom signal processing” (see publications)
  • Politecnico di Bari
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa
Light: Science & Applications dedicates a Special Issue to PoliMi’s Research on Optics and Photonics Prof. Francesco Morichetti from the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering and Prof. Giulio Cerullo from the Department of Physics have been selected as Guest Editors-in-Chief of a special issue of the scientific journal Light: Science & Applications (Springer Nature Group) dedicated to the most recent and fascinating research works in optics and photonics performed at Politecnico di Milano. Topics of interest within the special issue’s scope include, but are not limited to: biophotonics and medical optics; optical imaging and display; optical materials, metamaterials and photonic crystals; optical communications and fiber optics; quantum optics and quantum information; optoelectronic devices and photodetectors; lasers and laser optics; micro, nano and integrated photonics; nonlinear optics; ultrafast optics and femtosecond/attosecond spectroscopy.
  1. Most relevant Publications:
    • F. Zanetto et al., "Time-Multiplexed Control of Programmable Silicon Photonic Circuits Enabled by Monolithic CMOS Electronics", Laser & Photonics Reviews, 2300124, 2023
    • A. Melloni et al., Programmable photonics for free space optics communications and computing, IEEE IPC, Orlando, 2023, invited
    • F. Morichetti, Integrated Photonic Processors for Optical Free-Space Links, OFC 2024, San Diego, invited
    • G. Calò et al.,“Integrated Optical Phased Arrays for on-chip Communication”, 23th ICTON, 2-6 July 2023, invited
  2. Number of groups that expressed the interest in foundry run participation: 8
  3. Acquisition of new instrumentation: 30%

Project PI: Andrea Melloni

Collaboration proposals
One of the goal of the HePIC project is to provide a support to Partners in RESTART, from conceptualization to packaging, in order to lower the barrier to access PIC technologies to groups involved in higher hierarchical level such as systems and networks. 
It is of main importance for HePIC having the funds necessary to access to commercial foundries in SOI and LNOI technologies. The cost of a SOI MPW run is around 60 kEu. For LNOI, the foundry AFR operates near Milano and could be advantageously involved. The access would be guaranteed providing a person (PhD) for the period of the project.

For any proposal of collaboration within the project please contact the project PI.