Strong impulse for SMART Photonics

SMART Photonics, the Eindhoven-based independent foundry for photonic integrated circuits, acquired a 35 million euros investment from a Dutch consortium led by Innovation Industries. The funding includes a twenty million euros contribution from the Dutch government, to ensure that the company will remain in Dutch hands.

SMART Photonics was founded in 2012 by TU/e and is based on decades of groundbreaking university research in photonics. It is a so-called ‘pure-play foundry’, which produces indium phosphide-based photonic components and circuits for customers based on their own designs. In the micro-electronics world this is a common model. In photonics however, this Eindhoven company was the first of its kind. Since photonics will play a crucial part in the data centers, self-driving cars and 5G networks of the future, it is seen as a strategic industry for the Netherlands and Europe.

The funding includes a contribution from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of The Netherlands through the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), as well as participations from KPN Ventures, PhotonDelta and existing shareholders. The company will use the funds to expand its capacity for wafer manufacturing at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, accelerate the development of its photonic integration technology and firmly establish the technology in the marketplace through its valued customers.

“We are very excited to have the new consortium on board and to be able to bring our foundry to the next level thanks to this investment.”

Johan Feenstra | Chief Executive Officer

Global customer base

SMART Photonics’ integration technology allows its customers to design chips for a variety of next generation communication and highly accurate sensor applications in telecoms, healthcare, smart mobility and sustainable industrial processes. Since its inception, SMART Photonics has attracted a truly global customer base, consisting of leading US, European and Asian customers as well as a range of scale-up companies that develop applications using integrated photonics.

‘We are very excited to have the new consortium on board and to be able to bring our foundry to the next level thanks to this investment. This will allow us to scale up our volumes as we support our customers in bringing their first commercial products using photonic integration technology to the market,’ comments Chief Executive Officer, Johan Feenstra, adding: ‘I am very grateful for the tremendous support we received from our investors, PhotonDelta partners and our long term R&D partner TU/e in making it happen.’

SMART Photonics employs around 80 people, and is partly owned by the TU/e holding. The company works closely together with university researchers to further develop indium phosphide-based photonic chip technology.

More information: smartphotonics.nl