Het Enschedese quantum fotonica-bedrijf QuiX heeft haar eerste quantum fotonische processor verkocht aan Qontrol. Dit kwantumtechnologiebedrijf uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk maakt besturingselektronica en ondersteunende infrastructuur voor complexe, massaal meerkanaals fotonische geïntegreerde schakelingen (PIC’s). Hun toepassingen zijn vooral te vinden in onderzoekslaboratoria, wereldwijd.

QuiX, gevestigd op Kennispark Twente en samenwerkingspartner van het ANP-cluster voor Applied Nanotechnology bij de Universiteit Twente, bevestigd met deze verkoop dat het koploper is in de wereld van lichttechnologie. Met deze fotonica technologie dragen zij in belangrijke mate bij aan de ontwikkeling van de eerste quantum computers. Die zijn er nu nog niet, maar de introductie daarvan komt steeds dichterbij. Deze computers gaan de wereld radicaal veranderen, is de voorspelling. Denk maar eens aan gepersonaliseerde medicatie. Met quantum computing kan exact berekend worden wat de samenstelling en hoeveelheid van een medicijn moet zijn voor een individu. De toepassingsgebieden zijn echter veel breder. Zo is de technologie toepasbaar in sectoren als MedTech, Chip-industrie en Landbouw. Wat is het beste moment om te zaaien (precisielandbouw), kun je kanker ‘ruiken’ via de adem en dus eerder detecteren en wanneer heeft een vliegtuig specifiek onderhoud nodig. De kunst is exact te berekenen wat het juiste moment is, met behulp van een computer die ongekende berekeningen kan maken.

Fotonische processoren van QUIX

Quantum fotonische processoren zijn de centrale component van een fotonische quantumcomputer. Dergelijke apparaten zouden in de toekomst kunnen worden gebruikt voor het uitvoeren van informatieverwerkingstaken die de mogelijkheden van de huidige supercomputers te boven gaan. QuiX ontwikkelt fotonische kwantumprocessoren voor kwantuminformatieverwerking en -simulatie. Met behulp van het gepatenteerde TriPleX-platform levert het unieke kwantumfotonische processoren die niet alleen grootschalig en volledig herconfigureerbaar zijn, maar ook een laag verlies hebben en op grote schaal transparant zijn voor alle geschikte kwantumlichtbronnen. QuiX demonstreerde ’s werelds grootste kwantumfotonische processor tijdens een productlancering afgelopen december, die je hier kunt bekijken:

 

QONTROL als eerste afnemer

Qontrol, gevestigd in Bristol (UK), maakt besturingselektronica en ondersteunende infrastructuur voor complexe, massaal meerkanaals fotonische geïntegreerde schakelingen (PIC’s). Deze PIC’s vinden nu toepassingen, van telecommunicatie tot fundamentele wetenschap. De producten van Qontrol zijn te vinden in onderzoekslaboratoria wereldwijd.

Jelmer Renema, CTO van QuiX: “Dit is geweldig nieuws voor QuiX. Qontrol is een van de leidende bedrijven op het gebied van kwantum fotonica technologie in Europa. Dit laat zien hoe QuiX kan voldoen aan de strengste technologische eisen voor kwantumfotonica.”

“We zijn blij en vereerd dat we de eerste zijn die de geweldige nieuwe lijn fotonische processors van QuiX mogen testen,” zegt Dr Josh Silverstone, Qontrol’s CTO. “Met dit apparaat in onze laboratoria in Bristol kunnen we de behoeften van onze klanten beter begrijpen en bedienen, en in het bijzonder die klanten die de technologie van QuiX in gebruik willen nemen. Het zal voor ons ook een fantastisch hulpmiddel zijn om te demonstreren wat onze eigen producten kunnen doen, waarbij de zichtbaar-licht mogelijkheid van het apparaat veelbelovende fantastische live demo’s zal opleveren.”

SMART Photonics is excited to announce a €35M Series C investment from a Dutch consortium led by Innovation Industries, that will help us to accelerate growth for photonic chip manufacturing. Read the full press release here:

SMART Photonics secures €35M new funding to accelerate growth for photonic chip manufacturing

Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 30 June 2020 – SMART Photonics, the independent foundry for photonic integrated circuits, today announced a €35M Series C investment from a Dutch consortium led by Innovation Industries.

The company, founded in 2012, 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.

Lead investor Innovation Industries is one of Europe’s most active independent photonics investors and holds numerous investments across the photonics value chain. 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, thereby reaffirming the position of SMART Photonics as the central player in the European photonics ecosystem.

SMART Photonics’ ambition is to be the leading independent foundry for photonic integrated circuits, which provide small-scale integration and high performance combined with low energy consumption. Photonic integrated circuits will play a key role in our lives by enabling new and radically improved applications that make our world better, greener and safer. 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 in 2012, 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 the Eindhoven University of Technology in making it happen.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner, Innovation Industries, comments: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to lead this investment in SMART Photonics, as the company is perfectly positioned as Europe’s leading independent foundry for integrated photonics through its flexible production process of photonic integrated circuits, proprietary process design kit and tremendous know-how. We are truly impressed by the quality of the team and believe that they will successfully lead the company through its next phase of growth.” He continues: “In order for Europe to maintain a leading position in the development of new technologies for the rapid-growing photonics industry, we believe it is essential to invest in infrastructure. We are confident that SMART will contribute to a strong and healthy photonics ecosystem that will drive cutting-edge technology development ensuring continued formation of exciting start- and scale-ups in this attractive industry.”

Miriam Dragstra, CCO of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), which played an important role in the deal sourcing, emphasizes the strategic importance of the deal: “Recognized as one of Europe’s key enabling technologies, Photonics has the potential to drive economic growth and provide solutions to some of the most pressing societal and environmental challenges of our time. SMART Photonics allows Dutch technology companies to play a leading role in the development of this promising technology. Therefore, BOM is committed to supporting the financial and strategic development of this game changer.”

PhotonDelta CEO Ewit Roos explains: “SMART Photonics fulfils a key function within our growing European photonics ecosystem and are of utmost importance as the fabrication of photonic integrated circuits enables innovative products in many application domains. Thus, the growth of SMART Photonics has a profound impact as it leverages the scale of activity and innovation of the entire supply chain of integrated photonics in Europe. We are thrilled to participate in this round as the national growth accelerator for the Dutch integrated photonics industry.”

Samir Ahmad, Investment Director at KPN Ventures explains the strategic value for KPN: “In order to keep up with the immense amount of data generated at a very high speed by advancing technologies like IoT, AI, augmented reality and autonomous driving, there is a need for a new generation of photonic integrated circuits that can transport data faster, cost-effective and more sustainable (less energy consumption). Therefore, we see a unique, strategic opportunity for KPN to be closely involved in the development of photonic integration technology with SMART Photonics to continue to serve our customers in an optimal way.”

Source: News SMART Photonics

Surfix B.V., together with its shareholders Qurin Diagnostics B.V. and LioniX International B.V., already successfully developing bio-photonic nanochips for cancer detection and other applications, announced an accelerated development plan to allow mass-scale COVID-19 diagnosis and immunity detection with the financial support and in close collaboration with PhotonDelta.

The desktop testing device will yield reliable test results within 5 minutes and is scheduled to be available for commercial exploitation within 6-9 months. The device will be built around a photonic biochip using LioniX’ mature and proven silicon nitride based integrated optics technology (TriPleX™), a key technology within the PhotonDelta ecosystem. The surface functionalization and biochemical assay development are provided by Surfix and Qurin Diagnostics, respectively. The combination of these disciplines enables a successful, fast and accurate virus detection platform. The development will be supported by and in tight collaboration with Photon Delta (a Dutch public private partnership). The PhotonDelta support will be both in co-funding as in further future upscaling and exploitation.

Qurin Diagnostics, Surfix and LioniX International  are already working together closely on early cancer detection and have realized an ultra-sensitive biochip sensor array which will be applied for early cancer detection using urine as a liquid biopsy.

Qurin Diagnostics

Coenraad K. van Kalken, CEO of Qurin Diagnostics, said ”This collaboration confirms our strategic vision that the ultrasensitive biochip we’re jointly developing for mass scale, low-cost cancer screening is broadly applicable in  biological agri-food markets as well as in other biomedical fields. All these fields need highly accurate molecular diagnosis technology at lower cost than complex and labor intensive molecular technologies, currently used.”

Surfix

Luc Scheres CTO of Surfix said “We have developed specific nanocoatings which enhance the sensitivity, limit of detection and reliability of the photonic biochip. Of course every application comes with its own specific challenges and demands, so close collaboration with experts from other disciplines is essential to successfully develop a diagnostic test. Therefore, we are happy to strengthen our collaboration with LioniX International and Qurin Diagnostics for the accelerated development of a corona virus test.”

Lionix International

“The TriPleX™ platform has shown its capabilities and possibilities for high volume cost effective cancer diagnostics and investing in this new application is not merely a commercial driven choice, but also driven by societal importance. Since we have a solid technology base and reliable collaboration partners, who also enabled the cancer diagnostics measurements, we have large confidence in realizing a successful COVID-19 test.”, said Arne Leinse, CEO of LioniX International.

PhotonDelta

“‘This is a great example of a joint effort of partners in the PhotonDelta ecosystem to develop meaningful, low costs and effective solutions enabled with integrated photonics technology. The initiative builds upon our knowledge on ultra-sensitive biochips, which might be of utmost relevance in detecting the current COVID-19 crisis. Bio sensing is one of the long-term development programs (roadmap) within PhotonDelta where industry, universities and the entire PhotonDelta ecosystem work together on next generation solutions and testing devices on viruses and other diseases‘’, said Ewit Roos, CEO of PhotonDelta

Download the full press release (PDF)

Read more about MinacNed partners Lionix International BV and Surfix

Read more about PhotonDelta and Qurin Diagnostics