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Tyndall’s Photonics Packaging Group partners with MIT on chip development...

01 May 2024

...and Ohio State and Tyndall collaborate on research into visible light-wave generation.

Researchers at Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland, led by Prof. Peter O’Brien, have been awarded funding by the National Science Foundation in the U.S. to diversify and strengthen the supply chain for manufacturing and packaging of semiconductor devices.

The FUTUR-IC project is led by researchers at MIT and includes Tyndall, SEMI (an organization to advance the global semiconductor supply chain), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Tyndall announcement, made this week, comments that “the market for microelectronics in the next decade is predicted to be on the order of a trillion dollars, but most of the manufacturing for the industry occurs only in limited geographical pockets around the world.”

Anu Agrawal, Principal Research Scientist Materials Research Laboratory, at MIT, said, “The current microchip manufacturing supply chain, which includes production, distribution, and use, is neither scalable nor sustainable and cannot continue. We must innovate our way out of this future crisis.”

FUTUR-IC is a reference to the future of integrated circuits, or chips, through a global alliance for sustainable microchip manufacturing. The project brings together stakeholders from industry, academia, and government to co-optimize Technology, Ecology, and Workforce across three dimensions.

Tyndall researchers will focus their efforts on technology and workforce vectors, leveraging its expertise in developing advanced packaging technologies and educating the future workforce. Prof. O’Brien said, “We have established a deep and impactful partnership with our collaborators at MIT over the past years. FUTUR-IC is a new strand in that partnership, enabling us to deliver meaningful global impacts and strengthen research collaboration between Europe and the US.”

The MIT-led team is one of six that received awards addressing sustainable materials for global challenges through phase two of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. Launched in 2019, the program targets solutions to especially compelling challenges at an accelerated pace by incorporating a multidisciplinary research approach.

Ohio State University and Tyndall collaborate on research

In related news, announced earlier in April, Ohio State University and Tyndall have been awarded “significant grants” from the NSF (U.S.) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for pioneering research in visible light-wave generation and manipulation. The research has the potential to revolutionize biophotonics with miniaturized, cost-effective photonic circuits that would enhance healthcare diagnostics and treatment.

The $425,000 U.S.-Ireland partnership called VIBRANT (Visible Light-wave Generation and Manipulation through Non-Linear Waveguide Technology) was seeded by the Catalyst Program, jointly operated by Ohio State’s Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Tyndall National Institute, based at University College Cork in Ireland.

The project is one of several managed by Ohio’s IMR to advance international research projects and continue laying new groundwork for increasing international research collaborations. VIBRANT is a collaboration between Ohio State University, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Munster Technological University, and Tyndall. Separate funding has been provided to Tyndall and MTU by Science Foundation Ireland, while the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland is funding the work at QUB.

“This international partnership underscores the project’s global impact, paving the way for advancements in photonic technologies across sensing, security, medical research, and communication fields,” said Ohio State’s Shamsul Arafin, who leads the project in the U.S. Arafin is an assistant professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Optics and Photonics Research Lab.

“Together, we address the integration of lasers onto tiny chips leading to the more widespread use of photonics in providing solutions across medical devices to consumer applications. For example, continuous optical sensing of biomarkers in the blood will enable more effective individual management of disease such as the monitoring of glucose for diabetes.

“Another example is realising efficient high brightness displays. Compact, high brightness displays are desired for phones and augmented reality displays where efficiency is required for extended battery life,” said Brian Corbett, Senior Researcher, who leads the project in Ireland and heads up the III-V materials and devices group at Tyndall.

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