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Consortium Including MIT Awarded $110m National Grant to Promote Photonics Manufacturing


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A photonics wafer.

A consortium of government, industry, and academic organizations will work to advance U.S. capabilities in integrated photonic technology.

Credit: Bryce Vickmark

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) will unite government, industry, and academia to advance domestic capabilities in integrated photonic technology and better position the U.S. relative to global competition.

Federal funding of $110 million will be combined with about $500 million from AIM Photonics' supporters in state and local governments, manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and nonprofit organizations across the country.

"Photonics holds the key to advances in computing, and its pursuit will engage and energize research and economic activity," says Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provost Martin Schmidt.

Photonic devices are viewed as instrumental in advancing computing speed and efficiency. The initiative is "one of the first of this kind in the U.S., and the bet is that the innovation and research here, combined with the manufacturing capability, will allow our companies to really take off," says MIT professor Lionel Kimerling.

The evolving integration of photonics and electronics will have a great impact on many different technologies, including LIDAR systems, biological and chemical sensors, and new kinds of medical imaging systems, among others.

"The goal of this initiative is to lower the barriers to entry in this field for U.S. companies," MIT professor Michael Watts says.

From MIT News
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