The Photonics Platform is currently France’s largest photonics component and system development, characterization, and simulation facility. With more than 300 engineers, technicians, and administrative staff, the platform has an impressive 300 pieces of equipment, most of which is shared with the Silicon Platform. The excellence of the research conducted at the Photonics Platform is evidenced by the 40 PhD dissertations and 80 patents produced each year. The platform has partnerships with leading manufacturers including STMicroelectronics, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales, and LYNRED and with spinoffs like Aledia, mirSense, eLichens, and Scintil Photonics. The platform is at Leti (Europe’s leading center for photonics research) and its R&D projects represent €5 million to €6 million in spending each year.
Activities range from systems design to packaging and integration and include III-V and II-VI components. The research drives advances in a wide range of industries, with LED lighting, microdisplays, optical communications, optical microsensors (for environmental, healthcare, and automotive applications), visible and IR imaging, and astrophysics.
The platform is located mainly in the flagship PFP Building, which was completed in May 2017 for a total investment of €39.5 million. The building is home to 1,500 sq. m of characterization labs, 1,500 sq. m of materials research labs, 900 sq. m of cleanrooms, and 300 sq. m of packaging labs. A total of 12,600 sq. m of space on six levels entirely dedicated to photonics makes MINATEC, the Greater Grenoble area, and the entire Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region an international center for research and development in this exciting field.